Dead Rejects - This Is Killing Me (Cover Artwork)

Dead Rejects

This Is Killing Me (2014)


This Is Killing Me is the debut full—length by New Jersey's two—man skacore act the Dead Rejects. It comes as an exciting follow—up to the three EPs they released over the last couple of years.

The album opens with a brief piece of piano music (a feature which has become increasingly common in crack rock steady—influenced releases) before sliding into thick guitar tones, energetic drum beats and gnarly vocals.

The songs aren't overtly political or preachy but instead take a more personal/introspective approach. Shane tackles some pretty depressing subject matter yet comes out the other side of the speakers with uplifting anthems that help deal with these issues which we all face in our own lives. At some point the words go "turn up the music to drown out the pain" and actually This Is Killing Me is great for that very purpose (not that you need to be depressed to enjoy it, it's a fucking blast for everyone). Following trends set in the earlier EPs, death and related imagery remain a lyrical constant. A number of songs also touch on relationship issues such as in "Dead Already," "Dying Days" and one of my favorites "Bury Me."

"Punk Rock Is Stupid" is a neat criticism of the plagued punk scene which should go down well with the Punknews community. "Turning 20 Something" features guest vocals from J of the great Atrocity Solution which is nice. I feel the sonic direction taken by the Rejects on this record is akin to the one taken by AS and other skacore acts (The Infested is another) in their latest albums, in that it's more melodic and the production quality is stepped up. Which isn't always a good thing for a band (over production blah blah blah) but in these cases actually works really well and does justice to the tunes.

"Death Before Decaf" is the prefect morning tune for anyone, myself included, who has to consume insane amounts of caffeine in order to haul their arse out on the street every morning ("I've been up all night / And now I'm stuck at work / Please someone just kill me now / Or pour another cup"). The closing couple of tracks, "Write On" and the pounding "A Perfect Waste Of Time," deal with the actual creation process, which can be rough itself at times, and finish on an exhorting note: "now's the time to rise up from your grave / and take my place."

All you fans of good music should really check this one out. It's pay—what—you—want, so you don't have to, but you'll likely want to fork out once you hear it. Definitely a lead contender for album of the year so far.