Album Review: Without Andrew's 'Dead on Arrival'
Starting off by a lulling you into a false sense of security with an acapella-sounding tribute to ‘We built this city on rock and roll’, ‘Dead on arrival’ is an album for rockers by rockers.
Relentless in it’s energy, and full of directed anger, ‘Arrival’ is a fully realised concept album investigating some of the root courses for a world seemingly off-kilter and in need of a reboot.
Opener ‘Lost souls’ sets a high benchmark with it’s call to arms for those in support of a rebalancing of power. It’s hard-rock-meets-Biffy-Clyro feel, fully supported by pounding drums and thrash metal guitar parts, is a hell of a way to start an album
Continuing this pace across the album, Without Andrew take us on a tour of the principle rock sounds from the past twenty years. Standouts ‘Vault 13’ (punk) ‘Devil’ (hard rock) and ‘Fuck You! You’re a Racist!’ (ska) are used, in part, to showcase the band's musical and production chops which perhaps would benefit from a focus on one, or two, styles rather than six or seven across the album.
In contrast however, the band do use a consistent narrative to draw the tracks together and the album’s overall feel as a part Green Day, part Operation Ivy politically themed concept album (perhaps closet in focus to ‘21st Century Breakdown’) is an eventual justification for a mix of styles.
Never letting up with it’s energy, or it’s tough stance, Dead on Arrival is an album laced with excellent songs, call and response moments and a desire to provoke a reaction from it’s audience.
Punk needs more well thought out intentions like this.