Dead Bars - Regulars - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Dead Bars - Regulars

by Nathan Fidler Rating:3 Release Date:2019-05-03
Dead Bars - Regulars
Dead Bars - Regulars

For many, the pop-punk era probably feels like aeons ago, short-lived but energising as a genre. That’s not Dead Bars, a Seattle-founded band who have seen the niche crowds which old pop-punk bands still draw. They’re releasing their second album, Regulars, this month, once again asking you to get a sweaty chant on.

In the drums and guitars - the most potent weapons in getting a crowd pumped for this kind of music - you can’t fault the band. There’s a decent little solo on ‘I’m a Regular’ which is full of the kind of cheekily obnoxious, but equally obnoxious lyrics which perfectly suit the genre. It’s almost like a teenagers internal monologue.

Their 2017 album, Dream Gig, had something over this album, however, and that’s the delivery of the vocals. The sound here is ever so slightly more polished and on cue, which takes away some of the rough charm of their full-length debut. It’s a forgivable gripe when the guitars are chugging, pumping and ringing out with distortion though.

What is not forgivable, however, is the downright atrocious lyrics which feature across most of the album. It’s a fine line between the aforementioned cheeky, punky lyrics - which were always quite simplistic back in the heyday of New Found Glory, Offspring and other mainstream names - but here Dead Bars fall so far on the side of utter garbage in their lyrics it feels like it has to be intentional, as if that’s the gag. But it makes the songs unbearable when “trying”, “crying” and “dying” are piled on top of one another without any real reason.

The integral ideas to the songs aren’t half bad, with the idea of the outcast, irregular at the album’s core. There’s also the ode to cocktail culture on ‘Pink Drink’ and even the downtrodden lover on ‘Rain’. The execution of melodies, too, is great if you’re a fan of this genre.

This album fails because it rests on such a simple part of the music it relies upon. While no one ever expected earth-shatteringly deep lyrics from pop-punk, it’s either lazy or a huge misjudgement to expect anyone to overlook how poor some of the lines are (although the mention of “neon piss” shows they can hit the right mix of crass but original).

Some new blood for the genre might be greeted with hope for long-time lovers of old bands, but it’ll be a pretty disappointing ride if you stop and actually listen to the content.

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