BY JOHN B. MOORE
San Francisco’s Get Dead certainly didn’t pioneer the trend in pairing acoustic instruments with punk rock. They just happen to do it better than most.
Together since 2007, Bad News is their first real effort to blend both electric and acoustic instruments and the outcome is impressive. The biggest problem with punk music (and yes this will be a great, big, fat generalization, so prepare accordingly) is that the lyrics tend to be whip smart and politically-informed compared to most other genres, but the words usually get drown out in a swirl of machine gun drumming and buzz saw, distorted guitars mixed way too loud. With acoustic guitars, the playing is just as aggressive, but the lyrics remain front and center.
From the Klezmer-tinged “Welcome to Hell” to a plea to the liquor gatekeeper in “Bartender,” Sam King’s always-on-the-verge-of-going-hoarse vocals bring to mind everyone from Social Distortion’s Mike Ness to Chuck Ragan, but add the perfect punctuation to these shabby, but remarkable songs.
The band has been bouncing around the Bay Area for more than half a decade now, but their recent signing to the indie punk stalwarts at Fat Wreck Chords will hopefully bring Get Dead the bigger audience they obviously deserve.
DOWNLOAD: “Kerouac’s Teeth” and “The Process”