EP Review: Dead Friends - High, Wasted Genes
High, Wasted Genes
With the release of their latest single and the accompanying music video for “Cis White Whale,” Virginia Beach post-hardcore group Dead Friends gave fans their first taste of new music since “Torches” released in early 2019. More importantly, it was a great introduction to their forthcoming EP High, Wasted Genes as the guitars and drums furiously pounded through the first 5 seconds of the song before giving way to the growl of the vocals and quickly showcasing their brand of hard, heavy driven rock that fuses together aspects of metal and hardcore without ever falling too far over one side of the line or the other, but balancing firmly in both. Similarly, “Hyenas” and “Uncertain God” both get right into the hardcore intensity, but also incorporate melodic switches between verse and chorus that elevate the song while giving the vocals the chance to sit in the midst of swirling guitars and step into the center of them to deliver the additional punch that these lyrics call for. However, whereas these three songs lean more on a hardcore influenced side, “Knelt For Fear of Falling” pulls mostly from their more melodic half, while closing track “Branding Iron” offers a surprisingly different side altogether as it dips into the softer, slower side of the band and gives a unique and unexpected flavor to the true depth of what Dead Friends offers. The metalcore genre is one of the hottest of the entire scene right now, so where does a band like Dead Friends fit into it? The answer becomes quite clear after just one spin of this EP; Dead Friends slides snuggly into position between all the bands they list as influences – Every Time I Die, He Is Legend, Thrice, Underoath, and Pierce The Veil – while giving us slight touches and signatures over these 5 tracks to make them just different enough so as to not sound exactly like any of them as they step into their own.