In this metal world of ours that grows increasingly obsessed with anything we can label “retro” or, much worse, bands simply cramming as many notes as possible into songs that have little passion behind them, coming across a band like Atlanta’s Dead In the Dirt becomes quite refreshing. Granted, “refreshing” in this case is equivalent to eating a box of broken light bulbs for breakfast.
Dead In The Dirt are at their absolute best when they play it one way – fast and pissed. Their debut full length for Southern Lord, The Blind Hole, logs in twenty-two tracks in a grindcore-reminiscent twenty-four minutes. Do the math. These guys don’t have time for extraneous B.S. They’re a band that wants to get right to the point and the point for them is to smack you in the mouth with a sack of rusty nails. Musically Dead In The Dirt play a crust punk/d-beat/hardcore hybrid not unlike some of the greats that have come before them – His Hero Is Gone, Infest, Nausea, and Extreme Noise Terror to give you a few names as reference points. Sonically these guys are like purposely filling your morning coffee with sand. They are surprisingly abrasive even when you totally expect it. The level of ferocity with which they come at you is more than you could have ever hoped for. While lyrics are barked and vomited at you like rabid animals, a constant array of guitars and pummeling drums finish off what can only be described as a thorough, musical ass-kicking.
But for all it’s piss and vinegar don’t expect this album to sound like it was recorded in somebody’s garage on a 4-track. The production on this album is pretty stellar, especially as far as crust records go. Combine crystal clear production with this level of volatility and you really are in for a musical treat of the most delightfully masochistic design. If this record doesn’t get your blood boiling and your fists clenching you are to be pitied for already being completely dead inside and beyond reproach anyway.
For the time being you can experience two of these musical missiles over at the Dead In The Dirt Bandcamp page. The Blind Hole hits the streets via Southern Lord on August 6.