Dead Child: Attack CD review (Harp)

[This was supposed to be in the May issue of Harp, but Harp went out of business. So, I’m posting it here.]

Dead Child
Attack
(Quarterstick)

Birthed by former members of Slint, Tortoise, and the Shipping News, Dead Child was to be an outlet for the members’ more visceral tendencies. A middling EP was released in early 2007, but with Dead Child’s full-length, Brad Wood-produced album, it’s made clear that the project is far from being a gag. From musicians so long engaged in experimentation and stylistic reconfigurations, the catholic incuriosity of Attack comes as something of a surprise. The utter familiarity of its elements instantly pegs Attack as a genre homage; Overkill (vocalist Dahm’s tight-throated melodicism) and Metallica (the pummeling grandiosity of longer cuts like “The Coldest Hands”) are obvious influences. The palm-muted power chords and flailing solos are ‘80s thrash metal staples, and Dead Child gloriously indulges in them throughout the album. There’s nothing revolutionary or ironic about Attack – other than the fact that it’s being released in 2008 – and that’s exactly the point.

Standout tracks: “Twitch of the Death Nerve,” “Eye to the Brain”

Buy this CD at Amazon.com.

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