Dead Poetic have matured magnificently since releasing their debut album Four Wall Blackmail in 2002. Two years later, the band returned with a new member, guitarist Todd Osborn, and their sophomore set, New Medicines, to prove their musicianship was improving by leaps and bounds. Their sound too was fast evolving, culminating with Vices, their third album.
Only "The Victim" remains to remind listeners of the band's previous, more hardcore past, although the occasional mash-it-up guitar roar raises from the Dead. Jettisoning much of the 'core, the group circle around rock in all its glory and variety. It's hard, pushing towards metallic on "Cannibal vs. Cunning," slipping towards classic on "Narcotic," and sliding towards pop on "Pretty Pretty," surely a song destined for singledom. "Lioness" hints at speed-metal, "In Coma" spills towards the majestic sounds of the arena, "Motorcycle" revs up into punk rock, "Sinless City" and "Animals" sink into moody, emo-laden indie, "Paralytic" falls deep into space rock, and the final three tracks are all virtually interconnected pieces of incandescence. Like Muhammad Ali in his prime, Dead Poetic weave and float like musical butterflies, jabbing skillfully at genres, then landing roundhouse punches with their thought-provoking lyrics, all themed around vices and interpersonal relationships. The knock-out punch is their phenomenally strong melodies that predominate the entire set. No longer held back by their old limitations, Dead Poetic have now emerged as a powerful rock band to be reckoned with.