Dead Poetic - Vices (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Dead Poetic

Vices (2006)

Tooth & Nail

With 2004's New Medicines, Dead Poetic proved they were wielding one of the scene's slightly more intelligent sing/scream juxtapositions. While they leave that sound far behind on Vices, they also leave behind what little punk/hardcore roots they had -- which makes it all the more confounding that it actually results in something I'd still rather hear than about 99% of Top 40.

I suppose Dead Poetic's efficient version of an oversaturated style shouldn't make it all the surprising that they even do `90s alterna-rock pretty alright. Vices draws largely from that pool, coming off like a mish-mash of Deftones and more largely Maynard James Keenan's two most famous acts, Tool and A Perfect Circle, all the while sporting a slightly above average set of hooks. On paper this probably reads like a vomit buffet, but really, they pull it off well. Frontman Brandon Rike has Keenan's curious, low, and subtly comforting voice down pat while he still shows moments of his younger self. Thankfully, the guitars mostly tiptoe around nü-metal thumping.

It should be noted that at its 47-minute running time, the band still hasn't learned that less is better; New Medicines dipped into the late 40s too, and it certainly suffered from that same fault. Its lengthy running time just seems to wear on the nerves after one too many tracks, even as its mid-section contains some of the better ones ("Long Forgotten").

Granted, it is a little unsettling to any punk/hardcore fan that Rike actually said, "I'm definitely a dude that's going to talk about Led Zeppelin before I'm talking about Refused." Sure, he was referring to "the best records of all time," but his as well as his band's main influences are probably going to scare a few listeners away. However, those who find traces of enjoyability in the aforementioned style may get a little something out of Vices, and those who still actually actively listen to the genre may have their mainstay listen for the rest of 2006.

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