The Deadbirds

Don't Say That Word!

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With one foot in punk-pop and the other in hard rock, the Deadbirds were good for some snarling, bratty fun in the early to mid-'90s. Commercially, the Los Angeles band didn't get very far, although it showed some potential on its debut album, Don't Say That Word! The Deadbirds weren't influenced by punk's sociopolitical statements, but they definitely shared punk's irreverent, in-your-face attitude -- and their affection for punk's pop side comes through on this often enjoyable, if slightly uneven, CD. The Deadbirds get the same thing from punk that they get from hard rock: a love of wild and reckless fun. That's the thing that Generation X, the Ramones, and 999 have in common with Motley Crüe and Quiet Riot, and the Deadbirds sound like they can see the parallels between punk-pop and pop-metal. Not all of the tunes on Don't Say That Word! are memorable, but many of them are. And when the Dead Birds come up with the right hook -- which is exactly what they do on "Misery Guts," "Youthenasia," "They Say...!," and "Tired of Trying" -- they are fairly promising. Unfortunately, the Angelinos never got the right break, but that doesn't make the best parts of Don't Say That Word! any less appealing.

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