Cove Reber (ex-Saosin) sees his new band, Dead American, finally launch off from the ground with their explosive debut EP.
Back in June 2010, I saw Saosin tour Australia with Blessthefall and Story Of The Year. The one thing that always stuck out to me about Saosin’s set, even now eight years on, was that then-current-frontman Cove Reber just seemed to be in a really bad place emotionally. His body language on the night sent the message that he really didn’t want to be there. Neither on the other side of the world from home playing live music, to just singing in the band in general. He would constantly stare at the stage floor throughout their performance; barely engaging with the audience. The rest of the band were all smiling and enjoying the performance, powering through it all nicely. All except for Cove himself. Turns out, just a few weeks later in July, the singer was booted from the band due to his clearly deteriorating stage presence and supposedly not being able to sing live as well as he used. (To be fair, the vocals recorded and written during his time in Saosin are pitched quite high and only his predecessor and subsequent successor, Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green, could match those parts consistently).
From his statement of departure, the former vocalist took it well and didn’t hold it against the rest of the Saosin guys. During his time in the band, Cove recorded vocals for Saosin’s much-lauded 2006 self-titled debut album and their 2009 follow-up, ‘In Search Of Solid Ground‘, as well as being apart of their live CD/DVD. But that was all then, and this is all now, folks. As the 33-year-old American singer has recently taken his powerful tenor vocal range straight to the rollicking, fiery post-hardcore sounds of his new endeavour, Dead American. Teased over the last year or so, this band’s debut was definitely worth the wait. While his last project, Patriot (there’s a real naming theme going on here) didn’t pan out, from the get-go here, it’s clear that this new band will stick around for much longer. It’s also apparent there’s a real burning passion and driving rawness at the heart of Dead American; the kind that feels like it’s taken years to finally arrive but nonetheless is totally gripping.
Across the five songs on ‘The Shape Of Punk Is Dumb‘ – a directly-on-the-nose throwback to the title and cover of Refused’s seminal LP, 1998’s ‘The Shape Of Punk To Come‘ (just compare the two) – the quartet solidly skirts gritty staccato riffage, violent urgency, melodic hooks, blood-pumping drum work, Cove’s dual sing-scream vocals, and conviction-fueled lyrical content about the state of American politics and the world right now. (Look no further than ‘Alt Facts‘ for that last part). From first song ‘Ants and Pawns‘, Saosin comparisons will be apt and plenty as this new band moves beyond its infancy. Yet just as how Saosin’s comeback effort, 2016’s ‘Along The Shadow‘, saw them push past their older works, this new band carries its own sense of weight and energy. Joined by guitarist Jamey Price and drummer Chad Jordan (both from Sleep for Sleepers) and bassist Josh Latham, this is one explosive fucking release. Despite what it jokingly says on the front cover, a “musical abomination” this is not!
Speaking not too long ago in an interview with Bandwagon about this new project and their debut EP, Cove talked about its creation, his personal life outside of music, and his return to the scene, stating that:
“Chad Jordan (our songwriter/drummer/guitarist) let me do whatever I wanted to do vocally over his music. At no point during the recording did he ever say no you can’t say that or I don’t like what you’re saying there so change it. He just let me do my thing. The time spent writing and recording these songs was like therapy. I think this is the most honest I’ve ever been able to be with my art.
I’m 12 years older than I was when I released my first record. I’m speaking and older language, but I know there’s a lot of younger kids who can relate to what I’m saying. I’m relating to the audience what I’ve experienced since I’ve been gone. Ive worked as a delivery driver, I did construction, worked as a cook, a painter, a roofer, a dish washer, a buss boy, the list goes on. I know what it’s like to work 90+ hours a week only to just get by and never feel like you’re moving ahead. If I had to describe my feeling in regards to sharing my music with people it would be scary. It’s a little scary when people hear what goes on in your head unfiltered.”
Honestly, I’m just really happy to see Cove doing music again and clearly loving it too; learning from old mistakes and having grown as a person. That moment when you lose your spark for your passion in life – no matter what it may be – is a crushing, disorientating feeling to endure. So for him to find that confidence and passion again, and then be willing to try music again with the powerful sounds of Dead American is a wonderful thing, truth be told. Whether you’re playing in a band or writing for a website, putting yourself out there in some way to others can be scary, but it’s a process that’s damn worth it. Cove is indeed a good vocalist and he feels as invigorated as ever before here with Dead American, and that fully shows in the music.
Anyway, here’s my personal favourite from this killer new EP, ‘Grown So Cold‘. And what a fuckin’ tune this is! Stay close and near for more from the Dead American camp as they head into 2019 with a full-length album listed on the cards. Check out the rest of the new EP here.