Get Dead - Bad News (Cover Artwork)

Get Dead

Bad News (2013)

Fat Wreck Chords

Bad News sounds as if it was written during the effects of double vision after a long night in a tarnished bar. The vocals can tend to be indecipherable and are beautifully matched by acoustic ramblings. That's partially why San Francisco's Get Dead thrives here on their debut with Fat: their collective imperfections keep this scrappy blend of punk rock honest and impromptu. The album is like your haggard, bastard cousin showing up to a wedding cleaned up all nice. You'll definitely want to hook up.

The conversational and loose qualities of Get Dead make their sound more sincere than their peers. The album opens up with a gypsy spirit and integrity on "Kerouac's Teeth." It instantly transports us into the band's values and wanderlust through a rambling stream-of-thought process. The followup track "Welcome to Hell" showcases lead singer Sam King's bourbon-scraped tonsils squeaking along with drifter-strummed guitars. His emotions bite hard with lines like, "I need a drink, fuck! I got a head rush, I got a cold stone living wear my heart used to be. You see, it's easy not to hold on when you've already lost everything."

King is a powerful singer songwriter sharing everything while Bad News showcases the band's diverse rhythms and emotions. "The Process" thrives with a lo-fi muff and sloppy sorrow while "Here's Your Song" strums patiently with a stripped-down apologetic tone. "Bartender" presents a character deep in his own dilemmas, showing up bright and early for a drink and a stool, nothing more. Stacy Dee of Bad Cop/Bad Cop lends brash vocals as the devil's advocate here. It gives me a bit of a "Lori Meyers" great, nostalgic chill.

Final track, "Battlelines," is the only one that holds it back from being flawless. While it maintains a familiar lyrical theme, the pacing feels off. The incorporation of a rumbling electric guitar with high-note solos places an unexpected 80s ballad-vibe in that stands out as a sore thumb .

The whole album is riddled with self-struggle and finding yourself while down in the dumps, as a love-letter to the open road. Listening to King's thoughts that have been aged in a beat-up barrel of homemade gut-rot whisky, you'll want to set sail on your own wanderings with some friends and see what's out there. Because sometimes our trials are best shared with friends and a drink in new places to mend anew. It's simple, confessional tone builds up a heartfelt, admirable remorse. Some are happy, some are sad–all are worth raising a glass to.