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Of course, The Nearly Deads are a rock band, no question about it, and on first listen, it is easy to think, great though their music is, it doesn’t bring too much new to the table. But that would be to miss the point entirely. What the band does so well, and what their latest single, “Relentless”, underlines so forcefully, is the band’s ability to unite so many strands of music which fall under the rock and roll banner. Less thinking outside the box, more redesigning the box, so that it seems so much bigger on the inside than you first supposed. A musical T.A.R,D.I.S. no less.
A punky, pop accessibility driving the staccato salvos kick the song off. There is an anthemic, almost symphonic sound to the song’s big and bold chorus. There is a rawness to the production, something that pushes them towards the garage rock ethos. There is the weight and urgency of punk and the solidity and scale of metal. And if you think that it takes a smart band to weave all of those elements and aspects together into a cohesive and infectious song, you would be correct, but the clever thing is that they can tick all of those boxes in just over three and a half minutes. Brevity is the name of the game.
“Relentless” is the first of four singles that trail a new album due next spring. And whilst The Nearly Deads is nothing if not democratic, regarding creative input, each single is set to act as a space to showcase each of the four band members’ style and influences. Each piece of cover artwork will also feature a teen photo of the band member in question. Here we see guitarist Steven Tobi sporting a rather splendid mohawk.
With the band’s ability to write both cultish and commercial songs that appeal to dedicated rock fans and mainstream pop pickers alike, those looking for a band to fill the hole left by bands such as Paramore will be rubbing their hands with glee.