Album Review: Death and Memphis - Exhausted
DEATH & MEMPHIS
We always love hearing from new bands around our former stomping grounds of Chicago. We love to hear what’s happening in our former scene, see the direction it’s heading in, and dare I say, even miss being there to be a part of it when we get a little nostalgic. With their first full-length album Exhausted, Joliet, IL based group Death & Memphis delivers a side of Chicago-area punk we haven’t heard too much; street punk! As soon as “Torn To Pieces” kicks in, the group instantly introduces you to their street punk inspired sound complete with “whoa oh” chants, a catchy melody, and a guitar riff that consumes your senses as it pulls you into the song. The slick, and yet still rowdy feel of the guitars on songs such as “One Of Them” or “Rook of Fools,” walks alongside songs such as “Change” and “Every Action” perfectly – the latter two which show the otherwise rowdy, rollicking punk rock outfit leaning into a much more radio friendly vibe (radio friendly as in like when The Bouncing Souls or Face to Face got some airplay, not the run of the mill diet punk stuff). There are also some very interesting turns along the way when they experiment with longer songs such as “X and Y” and “This Fear,” both clocking in at over 6-minutes and giving the instrumentation the room to stand in the spotlight and showcase what it truly brings to the table. The lead vocals are very distinctive and add a raw, extra layer that elevates the songs to the level they need to be at in order to support the music behind them. At its core, Exhausted refuses to follow the poppier punk trends of the Chicago-area scene, and instead, pulls from the best of the UK street punk scene (think bands like The Business) and mashes it together with that of Boston’s (think Street Dogs), to give the Chicago punk scene something unique and different then it is used to hearing from its bands.