Every year, as the twelve month cycle comes to an end, there is always a discovery or two to be made in the world of music. An album or artist that you may have overlooked or simply not given a chance up until those final days. Deaf Row are the band that fell through the cracks for me and my oh my, what a fool I have been to allow that to happen. Don’t let yourself be just as much of a fool, as that would be very bad indeed. Learn from my mistake or suffer the consequences.
The consequences being that you won’t have heard the ‘Buried Alive EP‘ from the aforementioned Deaf Row. A fate worse than death!
OK, maybe not quite worse than death, but you know… It would suck for you…
Yes, I know I can be a tad overdramatic at times, you don’t need to remind me.
So, back to the review now. What we have on offer here is five tracks of what I can only refer to as not-quite Hardcore Hardcore (a contradiction in terms, I know). A sound that carries a lot of the tropes of hardcore, but with far more depth and complexity than just shouting angrily over some trashy guitar work. A sound that borders upon Emo (there is definitely some comparisons to be made with the sounds of early My Chemical Romance and that classic mid-2000’s alternative sound), with a definite big ol’ dose of melancholy seasoning the audible flavours of the sonic soup (f**k me, I think I may use metaphors a little too much sometimes), but with far bigger b***ocks behind it than your average angsty eyeliner release (a genre that, before I get people angry, completely consumed both my image and listening habits for a very long time, which I still totally adore!). It’s clear that front-man Ozzy Thornton is taking no prisoners here and letting rip to his fullest extent. For the finest example of this look no further than the second track in, quite aptly named, ‘The Pain And Suffering From A Tragic Event’. We’re not quite sure what this tragic event was, but the pain is pure and channeled into an absolutely roaring vocal performance that straddles the line between heartbroken emotion and a fearsome battlecry. ‘The Death Of Icarus’ however, is the absolute high point of the listening experience, managing to push pure, unadulterated anguish from the band onto the listener. “Save me from myself” may seem like a clichéd line to have in a Rock track (or pretty much any track for that matter) but here it’s abundantly evident that this is no line picked out at random, it is a lyric that is completely sincere and delivered like a f***ing powerful punch to the gut (a punch made of truth no less!).
Throughout the just under half an hour run time, Deaf Row make it quite clear that they’re not hear to f**k about. There sound is raw and uncompromising, completely absent of any unnecessary polish or production trickery. If that’s your bag, then this is an absolutely essential discovery to make before 2019 rolls around.