Does it take away from the message when you describe something as heavy as High, Wasted Genes from Virginia’s Dead Friends as “fun”? Because it really is. Despite the pummeling riffs and the overall intensity, the five songs contained within their latest EP is definitely one helluva good time to be had by yer ears.
But I digress.
On first listen, Dead Friends make music that combines the complexity of Every Time I Die, the melodic bombast of Circa Survive, and the cross-genre scope of The Receiving End Of Sirens. From the incendiary opening pangs of “Hyenas” through to the complex, but no less heavy finale of “Branding Iron”, Dead Friends weave a dynamic tale that offers a little bit of everything in one cohesive barrage of aural excellence.
“Hyenas” starts with the intensity of older ETID as pointed drum attacks from Christian Zawacki and Austin Radford’s vicious howls pave the way deeper into one rawkin’ ride. “Knelt for Fear of Falling” settles into a steady groove with this slick, clean vocal delivery changing the direction a little while still retaining that heavy heft as Radford and Dan Worrell’s guitars put up one crunchy wall of riffs.
TREOS, Underoath, and dredg come to mind on “Uncertain God” which immediately buries listeners under a mountain of both heavy and heavenly riffs, later going into almost Prog territory with Brian Zawacki’s bass and Christian’s drumming providing a solid rhythmic foundation. The only time this five song EP remotely lets up is at the end but even the seemingly acoustic and atmospheric “Branding Iron” opens up into a banger, albeit a different kind, which offers a parting glimpse of what’s to come.
High, Wasted Genes comes out swinging on January 24th through Standby Records. You can get your very own in a bevy of options by clicking here. For more on Dead Friends, including deets of upcoming live shows, follow them on social media by clicking here or here.