Dance for Destruction - When Color Was Real... (Cover Artwork)

Dance for Destruction

When Color Was Real... (2009)


In the early '90s, something hella good was going on in the East Bay Area of Northern California. Early '80s punk and hardcore gave way to an emerging sound and scene that facilitated one of the most energetically innovative and powerful periods of these subcultures. Reminiscent of this period in its best, merged with a modern and incredibly tasteful pioneering hybrid electronic-hardcore sound comes California's own, Dance for Destruction. Their latest and first full-length Lorelei Records 2009 release, When Color Was Real... culminates edgy dark minimal hardcore like the Nerve Agents with the more melodic and complex directions found in From Ashes Rise and earlier AFI.

The record opens with a heavy strike on the track "Surrender," harmoniously tearing along into the lead female vocalist Rikki's intense and searing scream. Right off the bat comes a smile to my face, as the confident vox of a female come blasting back into punk rock; where the hell has this been? The track has a great dark energy and the vocal accompaniment from the male voices in the band round out the sound.

Other standout tracks on the album are the title track, an opus of sorts with cello and acoustic guitar, ending up in some multi-layered punk riffing and keyboards. The analog sawtooth grit keyboard sound cuts in on other tracks such as the socially stimulating "True Beauty Lies Inside" and rock anthem "Black Cat." Many times I have heard heavy bands attempt to add synth to mix it up, and it typically sounds campy; but on this album, D4D blends it stylishly with reservation. The record has some special treats included, as the track "Imposter" furnishes the fashionable vocals of East Bay Punks megastar Jesse Luscious!

Overall, there are some production blemishes, as the drums don't seem to punch as hard and come in a little unsatisfying at points, and also some of the finer guitar licks seem to be muddied by the mix a bit. Yet, this album is well-balanced from a listener's standpoint; from hard to harder and from simple to scoping, When Color Was Real... seems to bring back something that has just been missing from the punk scene of late. If you love punk/hardcore for its true intention, get this record today!