Death Is Not Glamorous

Wide Eyes

Written by: PP on 28/02/2008 03:08:43

Norway isn't exactly the place you'd associate with great melodic hardcore punk influenced by such renowned acts as Lifetime and The Lawrence Arms. Hailing from Oslo, Death Is Not Glamorous is out to defy the stereotype that music of this style is a) great only on other side of the pond and b) exists at all here in Scandinavia. Had I not stumbled on their Myspace page while doing some background reading about the band, chances are I would've mistakenly called them another New Jersey upstart or something. Nonetheless, here they are, and fans of melodic punk hardcore better listen up, because they're flying a mile high above the standards of the genre.

To give you a quick taster on how these guys really sound rather than just skipping straight to saying "awesome melodic punk hardcore you must hear now", the comparisons to their contemporaries are easy. Think the raw recordings of early Lifetime, combine them with the energy and positive vibe of The Lawrence Arms, and add in Capital's passionate delivery and Shook Ones' sense of brilliant melody.

Straight from the get go of their compilation album "Wide Eye" one thing is clear: These guys are in it for the music. You can hear it in the way vocalist Christian's scratched singing breaks occasionally into half-way yelling half-way screaming, or in the multiple melodic layers in the guitars. In fact everything about their speedy punk hardcore screams passion, DIY ethic and great live shows. The pace varies between the frantic and the less-frantic, staying true to the punk roots of melodic hardcore, just like the recording quality does. Every glitch is audible, leaving the guitars rattle their melodies, the bass lines vibrant and chugging, and the drums raw and pounding, resulting in a sound that pays as much tribute to Revelation Records as it does to your local punk rock club. Danish readers, think Stengade 30, UK readers think London Underworld, US readers imagine the now defunct CBGB. The band has good ear for brilliant hooks, making each song memorable and different, which is remarkable considering how similar songs tend to sound in this genre.

Top that with the fact that "Wide Eye" is actually their debut album, compiling all their songs recorded for splits and EPs together into a glamorous melodic hardcore package, and you'll bet this is among my favorite albums this month. But perhaps the most important thing about Death Is Not Glamorous other than ignoring their somewhat defying name (I thought they were gonna be a screamo-metal band or something) is that they really do originate from Norway. That means us Scandinavians and Northern Europeans actually have a chance of eventually catching some great melodic punk hardcore live, which sounds almost precisely like our favorite American bands in the genre. Not that it matters, because when your songs are this freaking good, it doesn't matter who you sound alike.


Download: Confined, Close-Knit, Elephants, Foreground
For the fans of: Lifetime, The Lawrence Arms, Shook Ones, Sinking Ships
Listen: Myspace

Release date 06.02.2008
Dead & Gone Records / Run For Cover Records

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