Richmond (Virginia) three piece Dead Billionaires have a lot going for them. For one, they know how to pick a solid band name. Second, they use ramshackle as adjective for their brand of rock ‘n’ roll. And third, they have one of the best titles of the year by naming their 12″ debut LP Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book. To say, I’d already warmed up to the record before hearing one second of it would be an understatement.
Then I pressed play on the first song (Curb) and within seconds I just knew I was really going to enjoy this one. The song opens with frontman Warren Campbell’s strumming his guitar and singing “I’ve been trying hard to mask my sadness \\ But it won’t stop until we grow out of \\ Clinging onto comfort.” Campbell has an earnest voice, singing like he means it. His voices commands screaming along to. Musically, the song is a more cathartic version of The Weakerthans, with hints of Teenage Halloween as well. Curb is not the only highlight on the EP. Listen to Pink Slip / White Trucks for example, a midpaced punk rocker that ends in climax with the band joined by friends singing “And I don’t wanna be a pawn, I don’t wanna be a pawn, I don’t wanna be a pawn anymore.” What makes Dead Billionaires such an exciting band is that they bring anthemic punk rock energy to classic rock (and roll). They transform their dissatisfaction with the state of world in something exciting and cathartic. Here is a band that pours a lot of heart and soul in their songs. Another thing I really love about Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book, is that each of the songs offers a different touch, whether it is a change of dynamics (15 Words), an arena ready chorus (Checks), or a bar pleasing rocker (Stones). Each of these songs has something to draw you in, evidence of the diversity and talent of the band.
Societally conscious and musically rocking, Dead Billionaires are hitting a lot of the right notes on Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book. It is out now through Possum Lick Farms Records.
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