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Dead City and That Was Then…

Posted on Tuesday, November 21st, 2006 @ 9:04am » permalink

Dead City - The End of CommunicationOh shit, I can definitely hang with this! The cover had me pretty curious because I've always been fascinated by prison tattoos, and sure enough this shit is right up my alley. Dead City hails from Memphis, TN and cranks out three tracks of absolutely vicious metallic hardcore on "The End of Communication" EP (Keep it Core Records). In some ways their attack is a fairly standard dose of thick power chords and shifts in tempo from throbbing mosh breaks to moderately fast power chord rhythms, but there's a darker than average edge to the atmosphere, and the density of the recording has somewhat of a sludgy undercurrent to it that really works. It ends up creating a fairly unique sound for the band, which is more diverse than most in terms of riffing character and the way they manipulate their metallic sensibilities in an atypical fashion. At times it's somewhat reminiscent of a stripped down Bloodlet without the oddball time signatures and all that, which you won't find me complaining about. I also love the drumming – a lot of the fills and patterns really accentuate that 90's styled sense of groove, and I don't encounter that too often these days. I can appreciate the bitterness of the lyrics as well:

I can't save you from yourself, the years you spent inside hell. Make a choice, plot your escape, break the chains of past mistakes. Alter life, it's not too late. Face the ones that bleed you dry, begin again, shed your disguise. From the ash phoenix rise, resurrect, redeem this life.

I think these guys have a CD collection of earlier demos out as well, so I've gotta look into that while I eagerly await their forthcoming full-length. This shit makes me wanna smash faces, I'm lovin' it. Note that the below track is damn near 11 minutes long, which is pretty much double the length of the other two on the disc, but it never loses steam. Nice Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski sample at the end, too. Awesome, awesome stuff…

Dead City "Goddamned"

I'm not seeing this one for sale online for some reason, but I highly fucking recommend it, so contact the band via their website (above) or MySpace to see what you can do about getting your hands on this gem. The band is also actively searching for a label to work with on the aforementioned full-length, so hit 'em up on MySpace or email chris@deadcitymemphis.net if you're interested… and someone damn well should be!

That Was Then - Troublemakers"Troublemakers" is the latest EP from That Was Then (another Memphis act) on Armada in Flames, including six relatively short tracks of melodic old school styled hardcore in 17 minutes. The overall style here is nothing new – you'll basically find a mix of midpaced to moderately fast chord progressions with slick, pulsing basslines and intermittent melodic accents fronted by straight yelling – but that's not a problem for me, because the songwriting's solid and there's an obvious sense of sincerity happening lyrically that does come across in the music.

We pacify our minds with alcohol, religion, and TV. Go ahead and pick your poison, many choose all three. Waiting impatiently for this sleeping giant to awake and turn this question I've been asking myself into a statement: When will enough be enough? Enough is enough…

I wasn't familiar with these guys prior to this, so I'd be curious to hear a full-length effort from 'em sometime down the road. I could definitely see these cats branching out just a touch and starting to turn some heads. Not bad at all…

That Was Then "Treading Water"

As always, support the band and the label with a purchase if this is your thing:

@ RevHQ
@ Very Distribution


  1. SK@K says:

    DEAD CITY is amazing- no label?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!
    This may be the time for me to start one.
    Great shit- I mean that in a good way!!!!

  2. Andrew says:

    Dude, if you dig prison tattoos, you should check out the Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia (if you haven't already). Both volumes are available through Amazon. They're mostly drawings of tattoos by one guy who worked in the prison system, but his style is pretty sweet, and some of the images are delightfully messed-up. Well worth the price of admission.


    Hell yeah, I actually have a few books on prison tattoos, and I believe they all focus on that area of the world. Some of the photos in this one book I have are amazing – just in terms of the depressing tone of the subject matter, not artistically per se.

  4. Adam K says:



    The demo collection CD is pretty different but has some awesome songs too.

  5. KEEPITCORE says:

    NO LABEL? It says who put the EP out in the review.

  6. Rebel without a Cause says:

    i didnt really dig much Dead City in a first listening or two but now strangley growth a little bit on me than I had expected. And the part with Iceman kicks ass.
    I maybe got a little strange filing for somebody but on some parts this bands really reminds me on some stoner rock/sludge bands like Iron Monkey (which was awesome band for me). Especially the drumming, that feeling…
    To bad is only EP…i want more!

  7. Rebel without a Cause says:

    damn Im stupid. I forgot to wrote before. Some riffs are really killing on MySpace. I would probably buy this shit…

  8. Justin says:

    This Dead City song is quite good. Their side of the split with Funeral Diner is pretty crappy, though. They sound like 4 differently-styled mediocre bands on each track.

    Want to hear more new stuff, though.

  9. StevhanTI says:

    Andrew how do you keep finding them? Dead City is awesome, haven't heard anything like this for quite some time. Real HC with real guts and a fucking warped atmosphere. Lovin' it.

  10. Adrianoso says:

    Definitely something I'd listen to. I liked that sample at the end too. Just fuckin hard!

  11. Cock says:

    Shit, just seen DEADCITY on new years. No one was really there, so just me and a bunch of friends went crazy, shit is so fucking good.

  12. Cole as LIFe says:

    Dead City is my soundtrack for blowing up terrorists. Miss you Phildo & Jerry.

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