Deadlines -‘Steroid City’ EP
Deadlines – Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom.
Gruff, yet upbeat and melodic. Cardiff Sounds.
Earlier this year Deadlines released a second EP entitled Steroid City. An EP filled with four tracks of gruff Punk goodness that could easily be found upon an Epitaph release – think Off With Their Heads.
We first discovered the band while posting about our humble site in and around various ear holes and Facebook groups. They were interested, we were interested, we were all consenting adults; so why not? It really is a great way to discover and advertise new music, whether you’re in a band or simply looking to find some for yourself, just get your ears out there.
What grabbed me personally was that the band’s gruff, yet upbeat, sound that, not only reminded me of some of bands I destroy my own hearing with, but also that of my good friends, in particular, those into the influences listed below, which are very much a strong line up:
‘Jawbreaker, Samiam, Hot Water Music, Dag Nasty, Descendents, Sunny Day Real Estate, Lifetime, J Church’
What you are left with is an upbeat set of mid to fast gruff and gritty, yet melodic and upbeat Punk Rock, onset with the mild Post-Hardcore rumble of the aforementioned Dag Nasty, as well as (early) Hot Water Music and Latterman. Yeah… that is a thing.
Then throw in some dirty bass, quirky guitars and a voice only one of Chuck Ragan’s love children could have…
Best be getting on, here is Musically Fresh’s review of Steroid City:
1. Ambitious Nothing – After a drum and quiet guitar-led intro, track one lunges forward with a driven, gritty and low riff, accompanied by high ‘quirky’ guitar work. The slow rumble of the bass is as distinctive as the high-reaching guitar leading in the verses. Something that Post-Hardcore tinged and a lot of melodic Punk does well.
It’s nice to hear each instrument playing it’s part before throwing us back in to the heavier refrain. In regard to the vocals, they are strained, gruff and heavy, good venue acoustics would suit.
2. Balance – With a Hot Water Music-ism applied to it, ‘Balance’ is more of simple song, not in a bad way either, as it simply works. Gritty and upbeat and maintaining a solid pace throughout, track two does what it says on the tin. Open that tin and you’ve got 121 seconds of gruff Punk. The highlight for me was the guitar solo that plays you most of the way out, you’ll know what I mean when you hear it.
3. Worth – ‘I found myself screaming at a all wall, we saw the same shit that we’re swimming in’ – With the tempo upped once again, ‘Worth’ is disaffected and anthemic. ‘Worth’… some people have too much of it, if anything it seems to have become societal norm for arrogance and narcissism to be paramount and “desired” qualities.
Fast driving rhythms and classic chugging lead us up to the centre of the song, where we are left to stew and slow down our head bobbing to a back-and-forth between guitar and bass. Before the pace picks up again, we are treated to a statement some of these enormous ‘self-worth’ types should realise; ‘I swear, the only way forward is admitting that we’re not so fucking important’.
4. Steroid City – The fourth and final track. ‘We don’t talk without a varying intoxication, cheap shots and wasted time’ – sounds about right.
The longest on the album, the title track displays a bit of everything in regard to Deadlines’ sound. The faster sections of track 2 and 3, the heavier elements of track 1, the upbeat and quirky guitars present throughout, and the Post-Hardcore influences on the band’s sound.
On the whole, it is heavier and contains more of the instrumental sections that wouldn’t be out of place on a Fugazi release. Track 4 has a slow groove towards the latter parts of the song and was clearly (at least I think so) born via improvisation. Deadlines have fun with their instruments to play us out, why not? After all, it contrasts well with the gritty sound of the previous compositions.
A solid second release from Cardiff’s Deadlines, a take on the sound that there essentially needs to be more of – Deadlines have simply played what came naturally. If you like your music gruff and gritty yet engaging then give Deadlines ago. Solid EP, solid band – 7.5/10.
The EP is available from the band’s bandcamp profile for FREE. If you like what you hear, and want to hear how it all began, then the band’s demo from last year is also available from bandcamp and on the their bigcartel, along with Merch. And of course, both releases are available by giving them a go live and taking a wander over to the merch table.
Head over and give Deadlines a Like and keep track of the band via their Facebook and Twitter pages. Steroid City is also available in cassette form from ‘What We Should Be Doing Records’ bandcamp along with numerous other releases from other bands and artists – you might just find something you like.