Dead Mechanical - Addict Rhythms (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Dead Mechanical

Addict Rhythms (2010)

Traffic Street / Toxic Pop

Baltimore, MD's Dead Mechanical avoid the sophomore slump on Addict Rhythms with another consistent collection of competent, fuzzy pop-punk.

The band has always done choruses quite well, and the opening title track is no exception here. Ditto for "Sidewalks," a track that has a certain repetitive bounciness to it that the band hasn't often utilized this well. The gruff background screams that echo the song's chorus toward its end are a positive touch.

The mid-tempo "Baltimore Calling" has a certain melodic quality to it that recalls luminaries like Banner Pilot, and again, the chorus is top-notch. The guitar sounds here come off surprisingly layered as well; it's probable that some studio magic was employed, but still, for a three-piece with what was undoubtedly a meager recording budget, shit sounds good. "A World of Mistakes" showcases some fairly impressive riffing on each end, and some neat tempo changes that, while subtle, might catch some by surprise. The melodies carrying "Pictures in the Hall" are pretty great, and the more subdued vocal approach pairs with the twinkling distortion quite well.

Dead Mechanical dabble in a bit of silliness with the brief "Feathered Creature," which appears to be about a bird (an oriole, perhaps?), though its metaphorical nature might lead one to believe otherwise.

And "Creature" isn't Addict Rhythms' only misstep; "Film at Forever" sounds unnecessarily sloppy and out of place, especially in the vocal department. It's made even more curious by the fact that the very next track, "Watchpost," is similarly constructed while sounding a hell of a lot tighter.

Another surprise here is the post-punk groove behind "All the Weathermen." The guitar parts are unlike anything else here, and the band pulls it off with flying colors. It'd be interesting to hear them dip into that well more often.

Addict Rhythms, with its relative consistency and mostly successful curveballs, ought to please any fan of the band's earlier work and, hopefully, gain Dead Mechanical some much deserved praise as a band to be reckoned with in the pop-punk universe.