The time has come to leave all you’ve known to be safe and secure behind. It is time to let go of the simplicities of mainstream rock and accept the revolution that is Dead Sara.
With as much ferocity of even the most seasoned bands, Dead Sara stands atop those before them and plants their flag, confidently claiming their place in rock. This tight group of four, hailing from L.A., explodes out of the gates with their ground shaking self-titled album. In today’s music, it is rare to deliver something truly unique. Dead Sara raises the bar and has drawn my attention, if not much more.
Moments after the quick fade in “Whispers & Ashes,” you’re launched into the post-punk legacy being built by Siouxsie Medley’s fierce licks and heavy power chords. Complimenting the already superior sound, Sean Friday’s drumming testifies to his work ethic as he breathes the life into the backbone of this unyielding album. “Weatherman” slices into your psyche on the wings of Medley’s distorted intro, creating a build up that lingers on sustained power chords before front woman Emily Armstrong blasts into full force. Delivering each line, word-by-word and track-by-track, Armstrong’s unrefined, yet dominant voice grabs the Colbie Caillats of the world by the hair, kicks them in the forehead and pioneers on. With unyielding passion in her voice, Armstrong delivers electrifying, commanding vocals that explode track after track; so much so you’d think Janis Joplin emerged from the grave to front a post-grunge powerhouse.
Throughout the album, Medley’s diversity on guitar is simply astounding. The grinding, attitude-adjusting dance performed hand in hand with Chris Null’s bass delivers the purity of rock. Purity usually found within the depths of time-tested musicians and not in such a fresh band as this. Playing off each other in an almost “try and keep up” fashion, each piece of Dead Sara fires on all cylinders.
To appease the tame, Dead Sara plays into the hand of structured melody with “Dear Love.” A beautifully sung, slower paced track that opens itself to the softer side of their distinct abilities while maintaining their character. Each song lends itself as proof that this is pure, unadulterated rock. “Test On My Patience” drives home the broken beat instrumentals with the crackling vocals “I’m in love/ I’m in Love/ No I’m not/ Oh my god/ I’m a liar/ I can taste it!” adding to the blunt approach taken lyrically throughout the album.
The standout track on this standout album, “Lemon Scent,” comes in fashionably late. It is an all inclusive power-packed track filled with more force than I believed could come from Dead Sara. The realization brought on by this song is that of an incredible work ethic intertwined with a deep seeded passion to create rock in its most pure form. It is as if it flows out of each of them with ease; like they are destined to do this. Harmonizing the vocals and guitar, at a pitch that would break most attempting to recreate it, each instrument seemingly gets lost in the immense passion building in this track to create one cohesive sound. You are sucked into the anthem screams “You’re not cut out for this/ you’ve got that lemon scent!” Friday’s splintering beats leave your arms tired while Null and Medley’s riffs dig down deep into you and find home in your addictions.
Consistently surprising you with each of the eleven tracks, Dead Sara exploded onto the scene with blazing guitar chords, fret shaking bass riffs, and drums that get worked harder than by anyone in recent memory. This group from L.A. has brought about the beginning of something great by establishing a sound that will reverberate in my subconscious for a very long time. Let go and experience.