DEAD TO FALL’S “ARE YOU SERIOUS?” AIN’T AS CLEVER AS IT WANTS TO BE
First thing’s first: no, Dead to Fall most certainly are not serious. These are, after all, the dudes whose most memorable song up until this point has been one called “Chum Fiesta” that makes a shark joke by mis-appropriating the name of our friend Tommy Wee’s favorite porn site. Obviously these guys have a sense of humor.
At least, they think they have a sense of humor. The problem is that they’re not really all that funny – or good. On opening track “Stupid?” (after the brief intro “I.Q. Test”), vocalist Jonathan Hunt shouts “I’ve got a really originally idea, I think we should end this song with a fucking breakdown!” The satiric commentary on the current state of metal might have worked better if Dead to Fall weren’t such a prime example of able-bodied yet totally generic modern American metalcore. The band’s last album, The Phoenix Throne, had a couple of decent (if totally unoriginal and barely memorable) songs (see “All My Heroes Have Failed Me,” the aforementioned “Chum Fiesta”), and here the band have tried to spread their wings by mixing in flavors of proggy death metal.
But none of it is memorable, and not just because Hunt only has two modes of vocals (Cookie Monster and Cookie Monsterer). “Major Rager” is one of two songs that makes self-reflexive reference to starting a circle pit, suggesting that the band ran out of “funny” ideas before they even finished the damn album, and the “The Future” is the worst go-nowhere Meshuggah song Meshuggah never bothered to write.
“Every day is exactly the same” Hunt complains on “Sleeping Bag.” That same Groundhog’s Day-feeling could be induced from listening to this band. I’ll stick with Brian Posehn’s “Metal by Numbers,” please.
(two out of five horns)