This is a review of "Untitled" recorded by The Dead Pets. The review was written by James Meehan in 2003.
More of a commercial sound than the last CD, which is noticeable from the outset. Whilst I have to admit I liked the kinda raw feel of "Too little Too Late" this could be a step into the right direction for the band. The opener, "Revenge of 'Da village idiots..." feels a bit like a continuation of follow us, the opener from the first CD. The sound is much more structured, the instruments are clearer and the depth of sound gives more of a musical feel. Nice metal solo. Electric Six-style sax solo adds to the slightly nauseating unconventional sound. It might upset the band me saying this, but the sound is vaguely reminiscent of a harder Hepcat? Anyway, onto the other tracks...
"If it sells it sells..." is a less upbeat assault on the priorities of tabloid papers. The aggression's there, but maybe the brass is too dense. It sounds a bit like a bee, and that's quite frightening if you've ever been stung, despite this minor qualm there's a good level of oy oy oy hey hey hey sing alongness which seems to be a key element to The Dead Pets' sound. I thought we'd got to the end but little instrumental bit surprises me and fill the track out well.
"Gin..." has quite a generic punk sound. That's not saying it's not good, it's just not distinguishable from the score of other bands who've made a career from making songs like this. That said, it's a strong track, which would appeal to the viewers of our beloved P-Rock TV. Sort of hardcore for those who are a bit scared by bands like Agnostic Front? The song cries out for a video where the band drive in an old car, kick things and wear white vests with beanie hats.
"Never Never" fires up with a bouncy start, making me want to pogo, which has to be a good thing? The shouty backing, precise vocals and good use of all the various artists available in the line up creates an instantly recognizable song. The guitar work on this track is entertaining and catchy, even the horrible 80's solo sounds good in a slightly cheesy way, but it fits with the song and adds to the slightly tongue in cheek feel which makes the live show so good. I hope this track becomes a staple part of the set list.
"We're comin' back" is a brass led, chanty style, football kind of song. Then I here the line you'll never walk alone again and I'm sold. It's good time, shouty, too pissed to bother punk rock from the back room of a shitty pub. This would make a great encore maybe, with a cheesy "all friends of the band on stage linking arms and singing the last verse". Sounds lame but it can be quite moving!! It's in my head already.
In conclusion, I wouldn't go as saying this is a new sound for the Dead Pets, so much as it's a refinement of the usual sound. With less of the comedy element of "Too little too late", it could be seen as a bit too serious, but as Blink 182 demonstrate so well, there's only so many times you can hear the same joke before you skip to the next track...