Brit glam-punks Dead Frequency are something of a guilty pleasure; we can’t decide if their fun, flash image and cheesy tunes brighten our day or, in fact, horrify our anarchic inner punk. Let’s see if their new EP Tough Tracks and Setbacks can help make up our minds…
The record begins with a pretty simple pop-punk melody in ‘Nobody’s Listening’. With hints of Green Day about it, Dead Frequency are already coming off as a pretty authentic pop-punk band with Tough Tracks and Setbacks. This light, breezy, upbeat feel is also heard in ‘Time For Saying Sorry’, a Bowling For Soup-esque number that screams of tongue-in-cheek ‘90s/early ‘00s punk.
There are cracks in this punk rock demeanour, however, in other aspects of the EP. ‘The Devil’s Dream’, for example, shows the band’s glam influences. Their theatrical side escapes and begins to creep out slowly from the shadows, and we hear a more flamboyant Dead Frequency; this blend of theatrical punk reminds us a little of British band FVK, who went onto perfect the art of being both melodramatic and punk rock. Dead Frequency aren’t quite there yet, but they certainly have the potential. ‘Everything Will Be Alright’ is perhaps the catchiest track on the record, and injects a genuine pop feel into the proceedings. They have the infectious, light-hearted bounce of bands such as The Summer Set, but with a more mature, classic rock, ’70s glam vibe.
Dead Frequency could, if they fancied, drop the masks, throw their theatricality out the window and become a straight-up punk band, and they’d probably fly through the punk scene if they did. But we think that’d be a bit of a shame, as their flare could be what sets them apart from the rest, and the music industry is just crying out for something different.
Tough Tracks and Setbacks by Dead Frequency is available now via self-release.