Driven by the scorching, intense chemistry and vision of lead singer Emily Armstrong and guitarist Siouxsie Medley, this no-holds-barred indie band's debut is exhilarating, anthemic power rock at its most freewheeling and explosive. But Dead Sara isn't simply a fired-up 2010s equivalent of the the Go-Go's -- its unique male-female lineup is grounded in the rhythm section of Chris Null (bassist) and Sean Friday (drums). Despite rave reviews throughout the Los Angeles club scene, perhaps the most telling accolade given to Dead Sara (and particularly Armstrong) is the anointing of Grace Slick, who listed the the vocalist as one of the female rock singers she admired, for her "strong, urgent sound." The mix of urgency and blistering riffs made the fire-breathing lead single "Weatherman" an emerging hit on Modern Rock and Active Rock Radio. Though it takes a few listens to make out the lyrics through the powerhouse presentation, the track asserts the band's manifesto about predicting their own future by what they're doing today; in other words, fashioning their own weather by standing up for their beliefs. While most of the tracks are supercharged rockers blending high-octane production with catchy melodies ("We Are What You Say" is a solid example), gentler power ballads like "Face to Face" and "Sorry for It All" strip back the blistering just enough for Armstrong's colorful and resonant mix of heartbreak and self-assertion to shine through in an even more emotional way. While the boy-girl equality and hard edges are the surface charms that will attract modern rock fans eager for substance, the downtempo songs reveal another asset that will keep the band humming for a while: heartfelt, high impact songwriting.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran