Dead to Me

Cuban Ballerina

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Still upset over One Man Army's official breakup in 2005? Well, dry those tears because Dead to Me has arrived to pick up where OMA left off. After all, the band boasts OMA alums Jack Dalrymple and Brandon Pollack in its ranks, and even if Dalrymple's distinctively great sneer wasn't at the microphone (which it is half the time), Dead to Me's sound is still pretty similar to that of the defunct San Francisco trio. Dead to Me reaches back to late-'70s and early-'80s California punk to build the foundation of Cuban Ballerina, blazing through 11 energetic tracks in less than 30 fun-filled minutes. Chicken (ex-Enemy You, Western Addiction) shares vocal duties with Dalrymple, and the two complement each other perfectly, whether they're shout-harmonizing or simply trading off along the way. The band hits political and socially conscious matters head-on ("Don't Lie," "Splendid Isolation"), but actually spends most of the record dealing with personal change and growth. But that's hardly reason to then brand these guys emo. Dead to Me delivers straight-up melodic Cali punk with a rough street edge that brims with grit, sweat, and passion -- gimmicks aside. It's true that while catchy, many of these songs don't remarkably differ much from one another, but honestly, music of this nature usually doesn't. It's more about the passion and conviction in the band's approach -- and in this respect, Dead to Me enjoyably delivers with Cuban Ballerina.

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