Dead Lakes – New Language (EP Review)

DEAD LAKES – New Language
Released: May 1st 2020

Lineup:

Sumner Peterson | vocals
Cody Hurd | bass
Sean Adam | drums
Legacy Bonner | guitars
Max Statham | guitars

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Sharptone Records’ freshest signing Dead Lakes have a new five track EP titled New Language and whilst the sound they’ve curated wouldn’t feel foreign on one of the new Bring Me the Horizon releases, they do a lot to throw some spice in the mix by utilising some slick production, a variety of guitar tones and melodies as well as some great vocal hooks from vocalist Sumner Peterson starring throughout.

Close 2 Me’ kicks in with the most energetic intro of the five tracks and as a sucker for 6/8 time signatures, immediately I was sucked in. The dissonant melodies throughout partner the vocal delivery perfectly. As someone that sorely misses Crooks, the verses were reminiscent in both vocal tone and delivery which I enjoyed and the song shows its more punchy side as the final chorus closes in. 

The oscillation of the vocals in ‘Paradise’ gave this track some flair and it hosted one of my favourite choruses of the five, with endless crowd participation opportunity. Dynamic and song pacing is something Dead Lakes do very well across the 17 minute run time, with a careful balance of big moments to highlight the soaring vocals and subtly but effective guitar melodies, yet no moment feels like it drags on, nor do you get the vibe they’ve been written in just for the sake of it.

SMS Happiness’ and ‘Nogodsnomasters’ both start with familiar clean, reverb soaked guitars and I particularly enjoyed the more electro/emo rap influence (let’s not get bogged down in labelling genres here) on both the sampling and vocals, specifically from 2:01 onward in ‘SMS Happiness’, whilst the fourth track also bears my favourite bridge/outro of the EP and a great variation in its choruses. I love it when a band has a chorus delivered slightly different each time round so to see the frontman ramp up from a somber tone and less intense backing from the rest of the band, to a more full final chorus gave the song that intrigue as to where it might go next.

Title track ‘New Language’ has probably the busiest guitar work and definitely some of my favourite riffs, boasting huge potential for fans of the band to lend their voices during the chorus as well. Whilst there is a simplicity to song structure and a familiarity of sort to the overall sound they are going for, Dead Lakes have moments of flair and a sense of unpredictability in moments that certainly keep you engaged and looking for the next “ooh, nice!” moment. 

I sometimes felt that the intros to each song melded as one and did find myself pressing play to listen to one song and having trouble distinguishing it between others until it became more familiar but it’s a small blip on an otherwise well written set of songs. Production sounds slick and the bass is audible and chunky which is always appreciated, without being overbearing on the rest of the mix. 

Overall I appreciated the release mostly for its balanced mix and production, tasteful guitar melodies and vocal delivery. There is a lot of nostalgia to be had when playing through, with lots of Linkin ParkBring Me The Horizon and early 2000s post-hardcore vibes which made it more than deserving of a few rotations and a lot of hype around where this release will take Dead Lakes next.

dead lakes - new language

Dead Lakes New Language tracklisting:

  1. Close 2 Me
  2. Paradise 
  3. SMS Happiness
  4. Nogodsnomasters
  5. New Language

Rating: 8/10
New Language is out this Friday through Sharptone Records. Pre-Order it here.
Review by Nick Bennett (@Hank___Mardukas)

 

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