Dead to Me - Cuban Ballerina (Cover Artwork)

Dead to Me

Dead to Me: Cuban BallerinaCuban Ballerina (2006)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

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

Cuban Ballerina jumps out at you with the politically charged "Don't Lie" and doesn't let up until the closing yelps of "Visiting Day," grabbing ahold of you with tales of love, loss and redemption. It's hard to overstate how honest this album feels, from its lyrics to its perfectly suited, but not .
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Cuban Ballerina jumps out at you with the politically charged "Don't Lie" and doesn't let up until the closing yelps of "Visiting Day," grabbing ahold of you with tales of love, loss and redemption. It's hard to overstate how honest this album feels, from its lyrics to its perfectly suited, but not perfectly glossy, production.

Much of the press, including our own here at Punknews.org, has revolved around the very obvious inclusion of Jack Darlymple's voice and guitar in Dead to Me's sound. While Jack obviously plays an integral role in this band, the beauty in the album lies in Chicken's raw, introspective words. Songs like "Something New," "Cause of My Anger," and "Visiting Day" are an intimate look into the inner workings of a young man rebuilding and recovering from the demons of drug abuse.

However, any band or album is only as good as its weakest link, so this quartet is lucky that each of them is quite competent at their instruments. More importantly than this is the fact that the band plays together and writes music that you expect from a second or third release on their debut album. It's a tight sound, rooted in classic punk rock with tight drumming and buzzsaw guitars that seem all but absent in today's punk scene. There are the obvious comparisons to One Man Army to be drawn, as already discussed, and thankfully that's a good thing. OMA is a band that seemed to implode just as they hit their stride and it appears that Brandon and Jack's two-guitar punch has remained intact with their newfound bandmates.

Don't let their silly haircuts fool you, Dead to Me is a band with a grit and honesty that is sorely lacking in punk music at the moment. Thankfully, that "special something" seems to be on tap somewhere in the Mission District of San Francisco and it appears that it's one vice that Chicken has not given up.

Of course, you don't have to take my word for it, as you can stream the whole album here at Punknews.org.


People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseNOFX - The DeclineAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimDead to Me - Little Brother

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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.
DesertBurst92 (October 19, 2010)

Literally...all of the songs are great.

ChAoSRiOt (February 16, 2008)

This is isflawless

misterspike (February 7, 2007)

I've been listening to various mp3's from this album since last summer, but hadn't picked up the actual CD (I like supporting my favorite bands, punk cred be damned) until earlier today. The lyrics (not always completely decipherable on rock records) make you feel pain, loss, and redemption all within thirty minutes. Having half of One Man Army on here obviously boosts Dead To Me's pedigree, but I agree with the reviewer that it's Chicken's heartfelt writing that makes this band.

This will definitely be at the top of my "Records I didn't buy in 2006 that rocked my 2007" list come December.

What's Your Cuban Ballerina?

kwill063 (January 13, 2007)

this album is incredibly impressive.
each of the songs have something to offer.
however, i'd have to say that special
professional is my current favorite.

victim (January 12, 2007)

I listened to this a little when it came out and couldn't get through much of it, just not my thing. Then I heard Special Professional on the Fat X-mas thing and gave it another try because that song is really fucking awesome

Don't Lie and that are the only two that stand out to me though

BBQchildren (December 26, 2006)

I can't believe that allmusic.com didn't really look this album through and through. 3 and a half stars.....bullfuckingshit!

This CD has been stuck in my stereo for over a month and it's the only "pop-punk" CD I've listened to in that last few months.

Maybe my subjective opinion doesn't matter to anyone. this album is nothing short of a masterpiece. I don't understand how anybody especially looking at who these guys hooked up for a producer didn't come to the same conclusion. A prog-post-hardcore producer no less(the Locust is under his belt..comon') coming to the aid of a punk-pop band at a time when the sound of pop-punk isn't celebrated as much by "the scene" as it used to and Botch-apers sit pretty . Despite being really consistant(not often a bad thing), this music is no doubt a breath of fresh air.

CrispyTheRunt (December 19, 2006)

Fuck. This is my favorite album of the year by far. So fuck all of you. Too political? Doesn't offer anything new? Not as good as One Man Army? What the shit were you guys listening to? This thing's a fucking gem.

modelcitizen (October 25, 2006)

this is my favorite cd of the year and something new is probably my favorite song of the year. saw these guys twice this month. wow is this a good cd.

m-oo (October 21, 2006)

Top 5 of 2006

mcgregor107 (October 14, 2006)

the one lead singer reminds me of the flashlight brown vocalist.. but the actual "music" is much MUCH better

Ike_Ness (October 14, 2006)

My favorite album of the year so far. This fucker is on repeat and hasn't been leaving my cd player.

dev (August 31, 2006)

Album of the year, right here. And at this point, yes, I have heard the new Samiam album. Dead To Me is (as someone on this site once quipped) unfuckwithable.

telegraphrocks (August 17, 2006)

Since I originally downloaded this prior to it's release, I thought it was pretty boring. At that point, I listened to it once, hit eject, said "meh", and threw it in my backseat.

About a week ago, for some odd reason, I put this back in my CD player, and wanted to glue a "pocket-pussy" onto the album so I could fuck it.

I don't know what I listened to the first time, but I fucking LOVE this album. In the past four days, I've probably listened to this album about 30 times... no bullshitting. And the song "By The Throat", probably about 40 times.

I also stopped by some record stores yesterday and today to find the actual copy, and NO ONE had the fucking thing. So, about ten minutes ago, I just ordered it from Interpunk, along with a kick-ass Western Addiction hoodie.

Fuck, this album is just soooooooooooo awesome!

Chowdah (August 15, 2006)

I wasn't as impressed with this album as I thought I'd be. I am a big fan of Jack Dalrymple in general, but particularly of his work with One Man Army. I prefer the poppy, 3-chord, 77 styled stuff...and while this stuff has elements of that...it is a bit too political for my tastes. The experimentation is good, however. Good songs include "Don't Lie" and, my personal favorite, "By The Throat". Pick it up, but don't expect it to be OMA, either.

GlassPipeMurder (August 14, 2006)

The album is really good, but as someone mentioned, the review is pretty sparse.

wallofyouth (August 2, 2006)

this is pretty sweet stuff right here. it makes me so happy to listen to this record, even though it's not necessarily about the happiest stuff. still uplifting. 'visiting day' rules.

coffinfullofnails (July 26, 2006)


coffinfullofnails (July 26, 2006)

finally got my copy in the mail and damn this is another fucking great album. definatley has some one man army influence to it but with out being just a OMA rip off. my only qualm is that some of the songs feel like just as they are building up they end. its a unique sound but somtimes i feel like the whole song isnt there. but overall definately a new cd that i will be listening to for a while.

reinhold (July 13, 2006)

I'll probably get bored of this before I recieve it from the mail...

boy is it sweet though, Chicken has some weak areas... but who wouldn't when they're singing next to jack.



Anonymous (July 13, 2006)

That's one of the worst reviews I've read in awhile. If you don't know anything about One Man Army, you don't know anything about this cd. What the hell does it sound like? And who the hell is Chicken?

ChokingVictim (July 13, 2006)

I didn't think this would live up to all the hype they are getting on punknews, but boy was I wrong. As unoriginal as it may be, I think it's one of the best CDs to come out lately, and there's been a lot of good ones.

Anonymous (July 13, 2006)

damn you fat wreck chords! for continuing to put out outstanding albums that i spend all my hard earned money on. i guess i aint complaining that much.

Anonymous (July 13, 2006)

after giving the free stream a few spins...i can confidently say this shit is good. I dig. I mean very OMA influenced, but stellar regardless.

jockmcbored (July 13, 2006)

smelly bike messenger.... lol


Anonymous (July 13, 2006)

I tried so hard to like this album, Because I got it for free. But this just fucking sucks

Anonymous (July 13, 2006)

This is an amazing album.

Anonymous (July 12, 2006)

CHICKEN!!! So proud of you my Pollo Supremo!

Not-to-Regret (July 12, 2006)

Jordi's Visor

MikeStupid (July 12, 2006)

I enjoyed the stream, but after I bought the album and read the lyrics, it went up about five notches on the rock-o-meter. These guys are going to be big.

notfeelingcreative (July 11, 2006)

Really good record! Not exactly breaking new ground, but as an OMA fan, it's really good to hear a new project from Jack.

telegraphrocks (July 11, 2006)

Well, it's on Fat, so it should be easier to find that some other albums.

However, it's not a NOFX, Anti-Flag, or Against Me! album, so maybe Fat just didn't ship as many out.

Anonymous (July 11, 2006)

I can't find this album anywhere. I have checked in Berkeley and in Santa Cruz. Does anyone know if there are distro. problems?

telegraphrocks (July 11, 2006)


telegraphrocks (July 11, 2006)

"I REALLY want to enjoy this album, but all the songs just sound so dead to me. I can't enjoy it."

However lame that comment is, I full agree. This is mostly boring.

Toby_at_Fat (July 11, 2006)

No mention of the Sunset Punx.

Anonymous (July 11, 2006)

I REALLY want to enjoy this album, but all the songs just sound so dead to me. I can't enjoy it.

Anonymous (July 11, 2006)

Levar Burton is my personal jesus.


coffinfullofnails (July 11, 2006)

so far the few songs ive heard are fucking great. i can't wait till the mail gets here my cd better be there.

drewcifer (July 11, 2006)

Nice review until you went all "reading rainbow" at the end,

PisskyNights (July 11, 2006)

It's all jack to me on this. Coming from a longtime OMA fanatic I seen his style constantly grow. I only wish his vocals were the majority on this album. Great stuff all around!!!!

AnEpicProblem (July 11, 2006)

This CD should be finding its way inside my mailbox in the next few days. Can't wait.

Crookedsuperhero (July 11, 2006)

I didn't really think too much of the lyrics, but man, Jacks parts in just about every song are really fucking good.

ChokingVictim (July 11, 2006)

I held off on downloading/streaming this because I heard so much about how great it is. I'm pretty fucking excited to pick this up tonight, I can't wait to hear it.

William_David (July 11, 2006)

Actually, I agree that this is a great album--one of my favorites this year. Although, I do this the greatest of the album comes from Jack's voice, not Chicken's. He has a delivery that reminds me of Chris Chesney of The Living End. Chicken's isn't bad, but I see the difference being made here by Jack.

R3venge_Therapy (July 11, 2006)

This record is great. I'm buying it today along with Set Your Goals. I also wouldn't mind picking up The Living End and possibly Greg Graffin. But i'm not totally sure how much I like the Greg Graffin album. Folk isn't my cup of tea usually. Today is a great day for new releases.

sickboi (July 11, 2006)


Buddyhead (July 11, 2006)

That's what I'm thinking too. I used Nero to convert it to MP3 and shit just sounds out of place on my mix CD.

Fuzzy (July 11, 2006)

My full art copy doesn't have that problem at all. I think you may have ripped it wrong or something.

baseball (July 11, 2006)

like it a lot...will have to pick this up soon

sickboi (July 11, 2006)

Not sure if it is just the promo, but the volume leveling on this is way too low.

Anonymous (July 11, 2006)

good, but i will take one man army over this anyday-oldpunker-

Anonymous (July 11, 2006)


ozmanx (July 11, 2006)

Glad that Jack is making more music. I really enjoyed the record.

MrStylson (July 11, 2006)

Excellent album.

I'm wondering when Colbert mentions something about them "stealing" his phrase. I'm sure it's coming. Just don't know when...

kingofsuck (July 11, 2006)

this band is dead to me

Can't we get through one Dead to Me-related article or review without someone saying this?

Anonymous (July 11, 2006)

this or set your goals, right now i am leaning toward set your goals

Anonymous (July 11, 2006)

this band is dead to me

Dante3000 (July 11, 2006)

Wow, I just had Deja Vu.
Good review. Good album. Good guys.
End of story.

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