By JOHN DALY
Dead Friends 46 calls it like it is. There’s no mistaking the genre of music on their new album called Hardcore.
Orange-County, Calif.-based Dead Friends 46 were formed in 2015 by hardcore-punk rockers Don Mazza (vocals) and Jason Dovalina (rhythm guitar), with Andy Spraker (drums), Sean McGuire (bass), and Shawn Andri (lead guitar). The album is the first release by Rank-N-File Records and Distribution.
‘Welcome To Fullerton Now Go Home’
On the album cover it reads: Welcome to Fullerton, but Welcome to Fullerton Now Go Home is probably what they’re really trying to say here.
Hardcore has a fun style, a rougher and more satisfyingly unrefined sound than Rancid, the lyrics are interesting and the songs tell good life lessons and stories.
Dead Friends 46 draws from a mix of early 1980s hardcore, British punk and Better Youth Organization/Revelation-era posi-core. The band is anti-drugs and adheres to the ethos of friendship, family and surviving hardship.
‘Hardcore’ and More from Dead Friends 46
The album kicks off with the razor-sharp precision of “The Firm,” moves into “Rise Up,” and “Whistling In The Dark,” a strong vocal ensemble work.
Of the 11 tracks there are some particularly strong messages, like that of “The Letter.” The song is full of emotion and based on obligation and guilt, two unfortunate motivators. Like a few of the other tracks, if this song didn’t have so many minor chords and the pace was slower it might actually have made a good country song.
As for the covers, “Banned From the Pubs,” is a good one, as Dead Friends 46 takes the signature song by UK punkers Peter and The Test Tube Babies and creates a dark melodic approach. It’s obvious the band gives props to punk influences here. In fact, the band added a rousing rendition of Social D’s 1982 classic “Mass Hysteria” for the album.
Check out Dead Friends 46 at Rank-N-File Records and Distribution.