Playing Dead - In Your Head (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Playing Dead

In Your Head (2010)


Playing Dead is a Long Island quartet playing a sort of burning, alternative/indie rock that wouldn't be so bad if they were doing things drastically differently.

Right off the cuff, opener "Apology Is the New Foreplay" has one of the worst lines I've ever heard in a lead track: "We ejaculate the tears of joy." The band seem to think differently, since they sing its couplet ("Apology is the new foreplay. / We ejaculate the tears of joy") again later on. Then there's some more lyrical miscues in the song: "My head is dizzy from your fist. / Your fist is bloody from my kiss. / There's not much more that we can say. / 'I love you.' / 'Fuck you.'" That last line is so brilliant, the band stop everything so it rings loud and clear. Really, though, it's a piss-poor rehash of early 2000s clichés and forced morbid imagery.

It's not the greatest first impression, while musically, it largely sounds like discarded song parts by Alkaline Trio and/or Bayside. The album continues much in this same fashion, without much variety in the vocal or instrumental department. Worst is, the songs average more than four minutes apiece. When the band aren't bringing that many great ideas to the table in the first place, it makes the already long songs drag that much worse.

The power-pop chug and then languid limp on "Don't Wake Up" gives the album a momentary, central lift. And the melodies can be somewhat inviting at times, like on "Places", but there's some sort of static in the communication interfering, whether it's the lack of conviction in the delivery or the fact this particular song needlessly runs five full minutes. The strain in closer "Days of the Week" is a nice effort

The raw recording could make them sound a little more endearing if what they were doing was good, but unfortunately, it only amplifies how stagnant In Your Head plays through. This isn't an awful album by any means, but it's definitely got some critical issues, and its prose drags it down.

In Your Head