Musical genres that are a couple of years into music press hype soon tend to become overcrowded with so many mediocre bands that they sully the memory of why the hype was there in the first place.
This is certainly true in the case of melodic hardcore / “screamo” / heart-core / whatever, with random tattooed, hairstyled bands crawling out of the woodwork and adopting a “we’re hard-but-sensitive us” attitude.
For a band to stick out in such an environment it needs to bring something new and appetising to the table, which is not exactly the easiest thing to do. Failing that, they can simply write some cracking songs, and this is the approach adopted by Ohian quintet Dead Poetic with their second album.
New Medicines is a surprise candidate for one of the rock albums of the year, with not a weak track in hearing. The pedigree is evident from the moment Taste The Red’s drums leap out of the speakers like a greyhound from a trap. The guitars are meaty, the vocals at times guttural but more often sung and downright impressive, and the chorus as bold and conspicuous as you would wish for.
These traits are carried over into all the songs. This may be hardcore but there is definitely some heavy metal pins in these here musical joints, judging by the stonking, stomping riffs of the title track and Hostages. This is most definitely a good thing, adding a solidity of the sort that raises the likes of Funeral For A Friend and Blindside above the norm.
Vocalist Brandon Pike has a range and depth that can turn the listener from mosh to mush and back again in a matter of seconds. Nowhere is this better displayed than on Glass In The Trees. No screamo album is complete it seems without the de rigeur slowie, but this is far from wimpy, with an aggressive but gut-wrenching finale and an emotion-soaked performance from Pike as he grieves over a friend who died in a car accident (“They’ve cut down the trees to try to forget you / But I took a vow to never forget you”).
In summary, there’s little not to like here if you’re a fan of heavy music. The guitars rock, the vocals spit, growl and sing sweetly, the rhythm section grooves and the choruses are made to be sung along to. If there’s any (dead) poetic justice, people will be filling their cabinets with New Medicines like they’re addicted to the stuff.