When you think of a Dead Beat, what comes to mind? Being a really shitty father figure, perhaps. Or maybe a musical note that didn’t do its job very well and had to be put down. If you said “NO!” to both of those possible explanations, let me introduce you to another meaning of Dead Beat.
Dead Beat is a metallic hardcore band hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States of America. Before you scoff at the hardcore tag, don’t be an elitist conformist and pass them off as a stereotypical chug-core hardcore band. This demo might only a lightweight three-track in length, but it packs a serious punch…enough force to push you through a brick wall.
My favorite part of this demo is the guitar work. The tone offers a heavy vibe that is fitting to the rank of hardcore bands, which is pleasing. But what keeps you really listening to each song over and over is the melodic edge that August Harper applies to his guitar riffs. It makes each track creative and pleasant, while still having that heavy edge. His technique took something that could have been simplistic and repetitive and turned it into something very memorable.
Aside from the crazy cool melodic touch, Dead Beat offers a heavy jam session in a short amount of time. There are plenty of breakdown sections that make you want to get up and move. Though there may be a few of these sections in the demo, they move at a good pace and don’t get old for the listener. Another nice touch is the abrasive vocals of Brandon Fitzgerald. There’s nothing pretty about his vocal style, which isn’t an insult. His screaming sounds angry and fierce, which gives Dead Beat that “I’m going to beat you to a pulp” hardcore sound. And lastly, when you throw in the technical drum patterns and blasting sections, drummer Chris Peters really drives the music home.
My last shout-out goes to the track “Leviathan”. Man, does that bass introduction really kick some ass. You’ll find the distortion to sound like something out of a sludge band, but it’s matched with a punk feel. That’s definitely a moment that gets a few rewinds in this release. Kudos to August Harper, who happened to also lay down bass tracks on this album (bassist Cameron Carrell was unable to attend the recording session).
If you’re looking to get into hardcore, or you’re a hardcore veteran, this is something for you to add to your collection. For only being three songs, this demo MOVES. Drop by their bandcamp and invest, you will not be disappointed.
– Matt Dorr