Dead Ending - Dead Ending II [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Dead Ending

Dead Ending II [12-inch] (2012)

Alternative Tentacles

Dead Ending II, the second release from the punk supergroup featuring Vic Bondi of Articles of Faith, Jeff Dean of the Bomb and All Eyes West, Rise Against's Joe Principe and Derek Grant of Alkaline Trio, is harder, faster, and more direct than its predecessor. Where the first EP functioned to introduce the band, it seems that DEII is the band hitting the ground with all cylinders firing.

At its core, DEII is a classic-sounding hardcore record. Powerful, loud riffs charge forward as Bondi growls in his bear-cum-orc voice. However, this time, the songs are even tighter than before so that as the band tear through the five track set, they picks up momentum. With each song, the snapping becomes harder and faster, making it feel like the band is about to fly apart, until closer "Speed of Lies" which maintains the band's harder edge, but at a smashing, cold post-punk edge to give the lyrics a more sinister keel.

Lyrically, DEII is refreshing in its bluntess. More and more, it seems punk bands are becoming more abstract and more introspective. That's fine, but with the political climate as it is, now is the time for a direct, clear political record. There is no introspection in DEII. "Indefinite Detention" is clearly a rant against the industrial prison complex. The awkwardly titled, though kicking song "Ayn Rand Chicken Sandwich" is clearly a strike against conservatives and homophobes.

DEII is not a record that seems to offer "take from it what you will." Rather, DEII clearly says "these people are doing wrong and you need to put them to task." Because the songs rip so hard, it's hard to disagree.