The Deadbeats

The Deadbeats

Fueled Up Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Sweden is a land that I think of when I think about death or grunge metal. I don't know why; it just seems like a lot of music in this genre has been coming forth from the Nordic countries. I think of Abba -- no, wait, I try not to think of Abba too much, but eventually come back to them.

What I normally don't think about when I think of Sweden is good old-fashioned balls-out rock music. And that's where The Deadbeats come into the picture. Their self-titled debut release reminds me of bands long gone while they establish their own unique voice in a Britney-Backstreet-Sync world. And it's as refreshing as a cold breeze on a summer's day.

Now, I'm at a major loss here on a couple of accounts. First, my copy of my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Deadbeats is a promo release, which doesn't tell me a whole lot about the band. (Yes, believe it or not, I do read the bios.) Problem number two: No bio. Problem three: no Web site to access - though I could have accessed numerous lists of deadbeat parents. Finally, the type style the label used to list the songs is damned unreadable. This is not good for your intrepid reviewer.

So, all we're left with is the music to base this review on. And, simply put, it rocks. The Deadbeats remind me a lot of The Four Horsemen in style, though the vocals don't sound at all like the late Frank K. Starr. Even going further back in my mind, the sound reminds me a bit of Hall Aflame -- remember them, kids? -- with their blooze-rock mixture. If anything, The Deadbeats is an album that sounds like it could have been recorded in the '70s with all of the studio wizardry that the '90s has brought forth. Its power comes in its simplicity.

Listening to sngs like "Get Your Head Straight," "Roll With The Punches" and "The Hole In Your Soul," it's almost like listening to The Ramones, Motorhead and Aerosmith rolled into one. The vocals are clear and powerful, the guitar work sings, and the overall groove of the music is enough to get your head slamming into the desk. What's more, the band seems to know when it's about to overstay its welcome, so the songs tend to be in the two- to three-minute range. (The whole disc - all 13 songs - clocks in at under 40 minutes.)

The biggest challenge that The Deadbeats are going to face isn't getting their music noticed - hell, if the right people play this one, getting noticed will be the least of their problems. No, the problem will be an identity crisis; in the short time I searched the Web before deciding the hell with pages about tax forms and scofflaw parents, I found a few bands with the same name - including one who has established an identy on The Ultimate Band List.

I wish I knew more about The Deadbeats to flesh out their story and give more insight into the music on this disc. But The Deadbeats is a CD that is still well worth searching out and listening to for a few hours straight, especially if you're a fan of good old hard rock.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Fueled Up Records, and is used for informational purposes only.