For Fans Of
The Dead Ends began in Byron Bay in 2009, playing a brand of hardcore reminiscent of American Nightmare and Killing the Dream. They released an EP entitled ‘Widowmaker‘, then were quiet for a while. Frontman Hugo Costin-Neilson began a solo project under the name of Toy Boats, other members went on to form melodic punk outfit Postblue, and The Dead Ends were seemingly laid to rest – until now. With the release of their self-titled debut 7”, a little time away to focus on other creative endeavours proves incredibly beneficial for the band, providing four songs that demonstrate a mature approach to songwriting whilst maintaining the passion and emotional drive that makes this brand of music so engaging.
The EP begins with “Honeymoon”, building on a repeated guitar line before launching full force into a very solid, fleshed out opener. From the get-go, the band craft a sound on the EP that shows their progression musically. Exploring dynamics and pace more than the average hardcore record helps distinguish The Dead Ends from the literal thousands of cookie-cutter bands that attempt a similar style and ultimately come off sounding trite.
The Dead Ends are a far tighter unit musically on the EP, and it serves as a reflection of the years each member has spent performing in bands with one another – there’s a sense of authenticity and organic progression felt throughout. Final track “You and I” is by far the most impressive on the EP, demonstrating the band’s range of influences and versatility. Costin-Neilson drifting in and out between ominous, almost-whispered cleans and desparate, Wes Eisold-esque screamed vocals echo the overall tone of the track and indeed the EP as a whole – blurring the lines between anxious urgency and melancholia.
Instrumental interlude track “Saudade” feels somewhat unnecessary – particularly on a release that clocks just under the 10-minute mark as it is.
Ultimately, the 7" is a display of fresh, forward-thinking modern hardcore, avoiding many of the typical pitfalls of the genre that can cause listeners to drop focus. An extremely promising EP.
2. I’m Feeling Down, Like There’s No Room Up There
4. You and I