CF98 - Dead Inside (Cover Artwork)


Dead Inside (2020)

Sound Speed Records

Poland’s CF98 are back with a stellar new record with 6 new songs that seamlessly blend California skatepunk, melodic hardcore, and pop punk. Dead Inside, which was produced by Ishay Berger of Useless ID, shows the band at it’s best and will likely bring in some new listeners.

After the intro track, the music kicks off with the lead single “Dead Inside”, which starts with a quick tempo, cool little lead riff (Mateusz Poznanski), pounding drums (Adrian Majcherek), and a solid bass tone (Michal Kurzyk), offering a pretty good example of what to expect for the rest of the album. As in all of the songs on the record, lead vocalist Karolina Duszkiewicz effortlessly uses her voice as an instrument, teetering between raspy and poppy at just the right times, moving flawlessly from low to high, oftentimes trailing off with a subtle vibrato (i.e. “Gasoline” & “Never Quit”). “Shine On” is another good example where ironically she sings, “I hope you can hear my voice”,while her voice shakes and crackles.

Some of the endearing characteristics of this album are the erratic rhythms and the band’s ability to stray away from traditional song structures. And most likely, you’ll hear something new upon each listen. For example, there’s a funky little progression change in the 2nd verse of “Pink”. And in the same song, there’s a key change at the end, portraying a glimmer of hope that we can eventually break down gender stereotypes. “Oh Boy” starts with a speedy tempo, but changes thereafter for a catchy pre-chorus and chorus. And “Gasoline”, very reminiscent of Rise Against, starts with fast paced octaves and a low vocal tone, but mutes the back end of the verse to segue perfectly into a crackling, higher vocal range. These are just a few examples.  All of this is carefully calculated, well thought out, and keeps the listener interested.

CF98 have made an intricate record that is super tight with just the right amount of melody and well written lyrics. It’s probably safe to assume that fans of the band will be very happy with this release. And it’s also safe to assume that Dead Inside will also attract some new fans.