Album review: Dead Poet Society – -!-
Los Angeles alt.rockers Dead Poet Society strive to make sense of a world of tangled influence on debut full-length…
“Division or splitting into two or more parts” is the dictionary definition of fission. It's an apt title for Dead Poet Society’s second album. It's a record that breaks apart what it means to be an adult today, and examines the tumultuous life events that change who we are – break-ups, addictions, loss, and the constant search for purpose and identity.
FISSION definitely sits higher on the food chain. The LA-based quartet continue to serve the fuzzed-up alt.rock they've honed so well across their career, but made it feel that little more sophisticated. Despite its exploration of topics that often make us feel weak, it carries a self-assertive confidence.
Opener 5:29:45 gets into this from the start line, its staccato stop-start structure bringing that swaggering confidence of Royal Blood or Queens Of The Stone Age. Hard To Be God marks a clear standout point, mixing both spoken and sung lyrics in its verses with frictional and crunchy guitar work. It takes a hard look into the ego in an era of social media and self-concern, without taking itself too seriously.
There’s even an essence of showmanship on concluding track Black And Gold, as its riff winds up and kicks out grandly like the persona of a ring leader. Jack Underkofler’s higher register peeps during the choruses before thundering back down, making for a yo-yoing suspenseful finish.
Listening to FISSION is a lot like watching the process of the sun burning a hole into something through a magnifying glass: it starts with just that tiny bit of smoke, and sparks into something a lot more exciting. Each track gets angry just enough, but doesn’t overdo it. It’s got an attitude but still feels classy.
For fans of: Royal Blood, Highly Suspect, Queens Of The Stone Age
FISSION is released on January 26 via Spinefarm