Not sure about you but the quality of British punk rock right now is inspiring tingles not that far removed from those felt when its first generation of sounds and bands were in their heyday. This is all down to bands like Coventry quintet dragSTER and ridiculously exhilarating releases like Dead Punk. Rampaging with thirteen riots of hostile punk ‘n’ roll, the band’s third album is a tempest of feet inflaming, passions rousing ferocity with a strength of invention and virulence to match. There has been some extraordinary rock ‘n’ roll storms in recent times but few can be said to have come close to the fire and flare of Dead Punk.
Formed in 2006, the Coventry hailing dragSTER built, on a love of 50’s iconography, sci-fi and B movie horror, and ‘dirty, fast and energetic music’, their own punk turbulence which was soon stirring up a nest of attention with its voracious energy and aggressively forceful sounds as pungently evidenced on the Rat Scabies produced Trailer Trash EP. Extremely well and greedily received by fans and media alike, the band reinforced their emergence with first album Step Into The Deathray in 2007. It was swiftly devoured upon release whilst subsequent shows with the likes of The Damned, The Buzzcocks, Sham 69, Eighties Matchbox and Electric Frankenstein only enhanced and increased their reputation before second album Here Come The Meat Robots in 2010 had its impressive say. Released as Dead Punk on STP Records, the release marked out the band as one of the most exciting prospects in UK and European rock ‘n’ roll. Featuring ex and current members of bands like UK Subs, Texas Terri Bomb, Criminal Class, and Pigface, dragSTER has pushed on again in both songwriting and sound to now uncage one of the modern punk classics.
A slither of an intro leads ears into the opening fury of Gatecrasher Hostage as Dead Punk begins consuming ears. The song is an instant roar, expelling abrasing riffs and thumping rhythms around the fiery confrontational tones of vocalist Fi Dragster. Ears and appetite are immediately seduced by the onslaught, especially as potent hooks and spicy grooves add their bait to the straight forward but already juicy sound. The machine gun bursts of beats from drummer Ryan Murphy only inflame the intensity and addictiveness of the encounter, leading the listener into a predacious web of dark temptation from guitarists Diesel and Ben Kelly, the latter following up with a short toxic solo of magnetic enterprise. It is a delicious bellow of a song and entrance by the album, a triumph straight away surpassed by its title track.
Dead Punk is, as all tracks to be honest, an addiction forging anthem of belligerence and cantankerous endeavour bound in grooves and hooks to lose inhibitions over. With nostrils flared and muscles giving ears a thorough going over, the track compounds its might with a chorus even the deaf and deceased would be drawn to engage in. There is no escaping the slavery of the song, a potency grabbed by Drink You Pretty next and twisted into a new furnace of tangy grooves and chorus placed vocal roars. The song growls and rages with a raw infectiousness and diversely flavoured enterprise, squalling like a mix of X-Ray Spex and Midnight Mob with a healthy dose of Distillers added. Also repeating and increasing its prowess and bait is the bass of Tom AK, the throaty and at times grizzled tones conjured bringing a perpetual primal lure to this and surrounding tracks, bait again is impossible to resist.
Through the broader dirt clad hard rock spicing of Cattle Prod, band and album keep the variety and thick attraction of the album blazing before Evil Craze provides another massive thrill with its balls to the wall punk rock savagery quipped with another seriously habitual roar of a chorus. The protagonist bursts from the speakers with an almost physical and certainly visceral presence, Fi raging over it like a Queen of attitude and defiance whilst vocally and musically the band beside her unleashes their individual and creative furies to equal intensity and glory.
Such its magnificence, there is an instant fear or feeling that maybe the next track has a mountain to climb to impress but that is soon dismissed by the rampant fifties seeded rock ‘n’ roll of The Dead Are Out In Droves. Garage and old school punk meets horror punk with metal bred venom for company; the track casts its own unique anthem of quarrelsome and addict making sounds, passing on the same challenge to compete to Terminal Loser. Opening with a Generation X like lure of guitar courted by a demonic bass temptation, the song is soon rumbling and grumbled with every note and swiping beat. That antagonistic intent is matched by the fearsome and ever captivating Fi as she opens up the pop tainted heart of the song. A Spinnerette whisper adds to the rigorously seduction at work whilst the guitars scowl and tempt with a canvas of vicious and riveting endeavour which ensures that the track easily matches the potency of the previous storms.
The furiously caustic sounds of Just Wanna Fuck provides one minute of unbridled punk lust next before Liar Like That stamps its raucous authority on ears and emotions with a volatile union of vocals for the chorus the final key in the corrosive passions chaining encounter. Both leaves ears exhausted and spark a serious greed for more, a want and need fed copiously by firstly the Misfits stroked raging of Death By A Thousand Cuts and straight after by the stalking temperament of Indonesian Buzz Cut. The first of the two seizes ears with a raw wind of riffs and bass grievances splintered by the crippling swings of Murphy whilst the second, from a prowling gait of an entrance is soon a viper’s nest of incendiary rhythms, stabbing riffs, and vocal incitement. The pair also come with their own breed of contagion posing as choruses and a lack of thought of using their toxic hooks and inflammatory grooves sparingly.
The refreshing melodic and mellower tones of Fight Fire With Gasoline infuse more new spicery to the album, though that is not to suggest it lacks the same unforgiving attitude in sound and voice as any other proposition with Dead Punk. Thoughts of Penetration come to the fore as the fascinating encounter croons and blazes within its inventive presence before leaving final track Skull Ring to bring it all to a highly satisfying end. The closer is a dark protagonist openly sculpted from the gene pool of seventies punk, The Adverts a suggested spicing, and a bracing and ravenous bruising of unfriendly and irresistible rock ‘n’ roll impressively completing an outstanding provocateur of a release.
Dead Punk is not only one of the finest if not best punk release of recent times but stands on the front line of any emotionally and energetically charged slab of rock ‘n’ roll heard over the past twelve months or so.
Dead Punk is available via STP Records now on CD @ http://www.stprecords.co.uk/page4.htmn and digitally @
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