This week I had the opportunity to listen to the album “High Wasted Genes” by Virginia Beach-based rockers Dead Friends. I had no expectations going in to this, which for a music reviewer, is probably a good thing. Anyway, as a rock fan, I can tell you that this album does not disappoint!
Pre-save High Wasted Genes here!
The opening track, “Hyenas” hits you like a ton of bricks right out of the gate. Lead singer and guitarist Austin Radford’s strong vocals screaming at you might not be very palatable to folks unfamiliar with this particular rock genre. However, once you get to the chorus and you hear his melodic side, along with the tight harmonies, you start to get a sense of how versatile this band is. The energetic drums really carry this track, and if you happen to be listening in the car and your steering wheel is destroyed by the end of the song, well, that’s on you. But it could happen!
The other 4 tracks on the EP are just as strong as the first, and when you listen to all the songs back-to-back it becomes evident how skilled these musicians really are and how much variety there is here.
The guitar-driven “Knelt For Fear of Failing” catches you off guard with its half-time feel in the middle. “Cis White Whale” features a speed-metal opening and keeps the listener captivated with catchy riffs and changing styles.
The ever-so-slightly mellower (relatively speaking, of course) “Uncertain God” once again highlights Austin’s vocal prowess, and the proggy “Branding Iron” (my favorite of the 5) checks all the boxes with its acoustic intro, synth pads, alternating time signature and cool drum filters.
This jam-packed “High Wasted Genes” EP gives fans of many different types of rock something they can sink their teeth into. You can catch Dead Friends on the road with Spoken starting February 21st.