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Million Dead - A Song to Ruin (Cover Artwork)

Million Dead

Million Dead: A Song to RuinA Song to Ruin (2003)
Integrity/Xtra Mile

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


Contributed by: rem6775
(others by this writer | submit your own)

This is the debut from the London based group Million Dead and I guess I didn't expect much when I first listened to this record. I had seen the video for "I Am the Party" and thought I'd give it a listen, and sometimes I think expecting nothing is the best thing. The album opens on a high note.

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This is the debut from the London based group Million Dead and I guess I didn't expect much when I first listened to this record. I had seen the video for "I Am the Party" and thought I'd give it a listen, and sometimes I think expecting nothing is the best thing.

The album opens on a high note with "Portnography for Cowards" which is one of the better tracks on the record: loud, fast and aggressive, it immediately sets out to prove that this band knows how to rock. This song mixes a good amount of screaming with singing, but without falling into the seemingly cliche feel of "screamo." This song is followed by one of the singles from the album, "Breaking the Back" which is also one of the better tracks on the album. This track shows a more melodic side of the band, including more singing, toned down drumming (from the first track) and a more ambient feel to the guitar-work. It's definitely a good rock song and by this point, I was starting to become really interested in the album.

This is a good rock album especially considering it is their debut, and it definitely exceeded my expectations (which were fairly non-exsistent). I've seen a lot of people draw comparisons between Million Dead and Funeral for a Friend (with whom they are going to tour), which I think is a somewhat acceptable juxtaposition, though I'd say Million Dead has a more straight-up rock feel to them and are probably more melodic. Frank Turner (the lead singer) has a fairly decent vocal range and displays it throughout the record, mixing in some decent screams in with the more predominant singing. They also mix things up somewhat throughout the record which helped add to its replay value and certainly garnered more of my attention. In the middle of the record, we're hit with the title track, "A Song to Ruin," which quite honestly surprised me the first listen through. The song starts off with a 2 minute instrumental section which predominately displays Julia on bass (read: it's very bass-heavy) and has a very laid-back, ambient feel. Turner then comes in, a little more distant this time, singing a tale of isolation. The vocals are excellent on this track: distant, perpetuating the feel of isolation brought on by the words, and maintaining a very ambient, relaxed feel. I really just stopped what I was doing and closed my eyes to listen to this song; you can easily drift away with this one on. Definitely a stand-out here.

After this we're brought back to the standard rock feel of their songs. The second half of the record didn't strike me as much as the first, but none of the songs are necessarily bad. The last track, "The Rise and the Fall" I enjoyed. It's aggressive while melodic with good vocals sung and screamed over a wall of noise created by Julia and Cameron Dean. It then goes on instrumentally repeating over and over with some guitarwork over it till the end of the song over 14 minutes later (think the trace-like feel of the end of "Goodbye Sky Harbor" but with more distortion).

Overall this was quite a surprise. They seem to give a unique style to their music while mixing up their style a bit throughtout the record. Ben Dawson (the drummer) puts on a god performance throughout the record as does the guitarist (Dean). Though there is nothing ground-breaking in Turner's vocals, I found myself liking his voice and came back for more. The lyrics to the songs are nothing mind-blowing, but they are fairly decent and well thought-out (and thankfully they don't spend their time whining over things). Overall it's a good rock record with its moments. This is definitely a band to keep an eye on. If you're into Funeral for a Friend or anything similar, give it a try. And this is worth a listen for anyone who wants some fresh rock music.

Stand-out tracks: "Pornography for Cowards," "I Am the Party," "A Song to Ruin"

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
math_rocker420 (November 26, 2004)

to the fucking idiot who says the lyrics aren't that good(from track 3):
willy wonka was a capitalist confidence trickster, a poster boy for neo-liberalism, a full-stop on revolt. and the bfg a propagandist for an unaccountable regime, orwell’s vision with a wrinkled face. hold out the arm and quiet the voice. my first macdonald’s visit a vaccination, like the time my parents took me to the school / clinic, and handed me over to the teacher / nurse / whatever. i too got sucked in by the myth machine. unattainable, but i just wish we weren’t so fucking mindless.

this is but one example,if you don't find those lyrics intelligent then you have no right listening to music and probably range from age 12-17. go to fucking college

Anonymous (May 7, 2004)

"Furthermore, this was a very lazy review of a fantastic record. How he can compare them to Funeral For A Friend is almost as astonishing as how he can seemingly ignore the fantastic lyrical content of the record. Amazing."

haha, to put it nicely, hardcore and emo are not exactly breeding grounds for amazing lyrics man. im afraid you havent quite picked up on that and are quite upset that the reviewer happens to be tad more informed then yourself. however you shouldnt fret because one day, with a little searching, you to could be in the know.

Anonymous (May 7, 2004)

havent you people heard this cd a million times before by other bands!? godamn.

Icapped2pac (May 6, 2004)

I wasn't expecting a lot, never having heard these guys, but this is a pleasant surprise. There's really not a dull moment or skip-worthy track. I can hear the ATDI influence, but they also remind me of the Bled in some parts. Give this shit a chance, kids.

bobthesloth (May 6, 2004)

This is a good CD, in general, even if some aspects of the music are borrowed from At The Drive In. As is the bouffant haircut. Plus the bassist is hot.

Anonymous (May 3, 2004)

"Glassjaw suck and Million Dead are nothing like them."

I said Funeral For A Friend sounded like them, not Million Dead, you fucking tool."

And I said what's the point of bringing Glassjaw into this topic? They have nothing to do with Million Dead.

GreenVandal (May 3, 2004)

If you wearing a dress while you said it i bet he would have laughed at you.

Crazy people over there in the wilderness.

I never heard this, but i agree with the facts that both Thursday and Funeral for a friend suck my balls.

Jesse (May 3, 2004)

Obviously, in Europe, you don't get humor.

Anonymous (May 3, 2004)

"Glassjaw suck and Million Dead are nothing like them."

I said Funeral For A Friend sounded like them, not Million Dead, you fucking tool.

Anonymous (May 3, 2004)

Someone should tell the gentleman below me that, in europe, we don't give a shit what america thinks. Christ, you're one fucking country, get your heads out of your arse.

Furthermore, this was a very lazy review of a fantastic record. How he can compare them to Funeral For A Friend is almost as astonishing as how he can seemingly ignore the fantastic lyrical content of the record. Amazing.

Jesse (May 3, 2004)

From what I've listened to, I can definitely trace moments back to ATDI, but there is nothing hardcore or "emo" about this music. It's slightly agressive, but very melodic. It's original sounding too. Listening to it doesn't make me go, "Oh man, this is just Slayer with sing-a-long choruses" or "Thursday already proved to us that this is bad music, why are you copying them?" I agree with the reviewer on this one.

Although they need a name change. Someone should tell them that in America, a name like that implies shitty metal-core.

Anonymous (May 2, 2004)

Pretty good stuff.
To you people bitching about them, they're pretty much just rock, they're nothing like Funeral for a Friend who suck and Glassjaw, what's the point of bringing them into this? Glassjaw suck and Million Dead are nothing like them.

And someone said ATDI wannabes... Bullshit, they're nothing like ATDI, they're no way near as hard instrument and vocals wise.

So shutup as they're nothing like the bands you've complained them wanting to be like. I haven't heard anything like Million Dead for a while if even ever so be quiet.

Anonymous (May 2, 2004)

Never heard this band, but isn't their name kinda ripping MDC off?

...evildeadalive

Anonymous (May 2, 2004)

"I've seen a lot of people draw comparisons between Million Dead and Funeral for a Friend (with whom they are going to tour), which I think is a somewhat acceptable juxtaposition, though I'd say Million Dead has a more straight-up rock feel to them and are probably more melodic."

FFAF = wimpy third-rate Glassjaw wannabes with meaningless lyrics.
MD = none of those qualities.

"The lyrics to the songs are nothing mind-blowing"
I think I'd prefer "sexism, the social scourge of the sixties and singularly responsible for a plethora of ills" to "and I'm nothing more than a line in your book"

Anonymous (May 2, 2004)

Did I hear someone say ATDI rip-off? Cus that's what this is.

ThreeChordsAndTheTruth (May 1, 2004)

I've only heard 2 songs but I really liked them. The singer is like a cross between the singer of Hundred Reasons and Cedric Bixler (and all three are white with fro's). They're also nothing like Funeral For A Friend, or I wouldn't like them.

Anonymous (April 30, 2004)

the lead singer of this band skull fucks kids

Anonymous (April 30, 2004)

No, this is absolutely no good.

-BSD

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