As simply as the words slip off the lips of an imperative rock critic, their force can send shivers of dread down the spine of any aspiring musician, circulate waves of disapproval amongst listeners, and ultimately set the tone for a band’s future as they know it. It’s called the “Sophomore Slump,” and in the uncertain world of the music industry, it can become the definitive moment in a band’s career; a moment that can either unravel to an untimely demise for a group, or if conquered, prove not only a maturity or growth in their sound, but a promise for success to come.
Dead Poetic has assertively opted for the latter. As the quintet prepares for the follow-up release to their debut album, “Four Wall Blackmail,” with their astoundingly more mature work entitled, “New Medicines,” the band has no chance of being caught in the depths of any slump at all. Instead, their straightforward hard rock stylings are sure to encompass listeners with their energy and colossal sound, and leave any doubts of sophomore success in their past.
“I think that ‘New Medicines’ is the type of album that we wanted to create for our first album, but we weren’t there musically yet,” explains guitarist, Zach Miles. Lead vocalist Brandon Rike expands, “I also think it’s an example of a band with a lot of potential, still trying to find their niche. This record completely blows the other record away, in our opinion. This record shows a confident band that has found their niche.”
Not that their previous effort need be discredited. Released in June 2002, “Four Wall Blackmail,” recorded by the band just out of high school, has garnered not only an instant fan base, but also critical acclaim for their single “August Winterman,” which received MTV2 attention with the release of its video. And with that success grew touring opportunities with some of their most prominent influences like Zao, Stavesacre, and Project 86.
Still, with “New Medicines,” starts a fresh beginning. With their foundation built strongly from their previous achievements, Dead Poetic has ventured to evolve as well. Adding an additional member, guitarist Todd Osborn has not only pushed them creatively, but improved the depth of their sound as well. The band previously being penned in the hardcore genre is now breaking free with a true defining of their sound: full-blown, guitar-driven rock masterpieces.
“We’ve never felt comfortable anywhere in the ‘hardcore’ genre,” Rike says. “It was more of a genre people threw us into based on our record label and the shows we played. We’re all lovers of good, heavy rock-n-roll. We grew up on Nirvana, Helmet and Green Day. We have no desire to be labeled anything other than hard rock-n-roll.”
But one label they should be ready to take is that of a promising, up and coming band with a new found confidence and determination for their future. Effortlessly leaping over any hurdle so many bands falter on in their second release, Dead Poetic is proving that in searching for the prescription for the Sophomore Slump, “New Medicines” is the cure so many bands look for, but aren’t lucky enough to find.
Source: Tooth & Nail Records