Radio Punk

Review: Dropdead – 2019 Demo

The earslaughtering and the “white whale”

If you’ve never heard about Dropdead, you’re maybe dead and you have still to realize that; on the scene since 1991, these four dudes from Rhode Island got their names written in stone in the history of extreme music. Dark and gloomy visions, musically and lyrically recalling everything is abominable and abhorrent in the human nature and in the modern age and the restless fierce of their sound have made them iconic, loved and highly regarded by the D.I.Y. underground galaxy. They have deeply influenced tons of bands and they have been fundamental for the evolution of genres like grindcore and powerviolence. Their lyrics, savage invectives against every gear of modern-day reality, radically refusing every form of authority, human submission and every form of discrimination, are the bullets in their loaded gun, and their wall of distorted sound points it at your ears. But I hope you don’t need any history lesson.

Contrary to what it may seem, this is not an album. This is a direct link between the band and the people involved in the underground scene. In fact, you can easily listen to these songs for free on the Dropdead Bandcamp page, and you can only buy it digitally – for now. And the reason is not pleasant at all. In the first days of June, right after Dropdead’s gig at the Earslaughter Fest in Montreal, the band’s van – also known as the white whale, which has been part of the band’s “family” since the early days and a mobile house for many other bands during the years – has been stolen and lots of band’s personal belongings got stolen too. At least the instruments and the gears weren’t been loaded in yet, but the band got no van anymore. Being just normal people – exactly like you and me – with normal ordinary jobs and without millions stuffed under the bed, Dropdead decided to release this unheard album (the last EP came out in 2018 while the latest LP is even dated 1998) that originally was just a demo for themselves, before entering a studio.

Fast, fierce, outspoken: if you are buying this album you can actually help them out to put together some money to get another van, to go on stage and shred in more forthcoming shows that the band got absolutely no will to cancel. The formula is run in perfectly, a suffocating atmosphere, a violent and solid sound, fast and abrasive, with screamed lyrics of desperate anger and unrest. Everything that made Dropdead what they are and made them so important for the underground and extreme music. That’s why I wouldn’t consider that an album – nor even a lame crowdfunding attempt – rather it is a real chance to show support and respect to a band that has meant so much for all of us. Too many times this support is confined to the sterility of a click – or a tap – on the screen, cutting off that direct link that the underground is meant to be.

Or at least it should.



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