Philadelphia-hailing rockers Mannequin Pussy have been conjuring music that moves, both physically and mentally, since …
These days it seems most albums deal with tinges and/or a heavy-handed focus on uncertainty and change; and given the enduring state of the world it’s no wonder artists continue to explore these thematics.
In the wrong hands, these thematics can oftentimes grate or tire with airs of privileged dissatisfaction, but on FISSION, aka the second album from American rockers Dead Poet Society, life’s maladies come to relatable and energetic life, while also busting out some balanced and honed alternative rock.
FISSION’s opener 5:29:45 sets a fiery scene, hulking in with serpentine vocals, distorted guitars, and woozy melodics while also aptly sharing its title with the exact time that the world’s first nuclear weapon was detonated (as seen recently adapted in Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece Oppenheimer). If that reference doesn’t portray a keen sense of life-altering events and seismic shifts alongside the album’s title, the following tracks consistently drive things home, from the soaring, lush modernity on Running In Circles, to sensual arrangements fused with bittersweet lyricism (How could i love you?), and dark club pulsations (I hope you hate me). But we’re only merely scratching the surface here.
Dead Poet Society continue to showcase they have more than what it takes to stand out from the crowd, with FISSION proving to be equally ear candy for the alt rock set as much as it is an authentic thinkpiece on evolving through life’s challenges.
Nodding at times to the heavier moments of Nothing But Thieves on the pounding Uto and the driving melodic urgency of earlier Muse on LA Queen, Dead Poet Society flow with ease into some pouding industrial spoken-word delights on Hard To Be God, firmly keeping the sonic scales balanced enough to avoid dropping into consistent predictable genre tropes. And whether kicking in some discordant beauty a la Poppy on KOET or leaning into affable pop sensibilities on My Condition, Dead Poet Society certainly know their way around down-tunings as much as they do around some glossy hooks, all the while capturing addiction, loss, and the realities of growing up.
From entirely indie beginnings through to ripping up festival stages, touring alongside Highly Suspect, Biffy Clyro and many more, and snapping up 72 million global streams, Dead Poet Society have remained inherently likeable throughout their career, while also continuing to hone in their own signature sound via their second album outing. In a genre that is often dominated by formulaic stamps, Dead Poet Society continue to showcase they have more than what it takes to stand out from the crowd, with FISSION proving to be equally ear candy for the alt rock set as much as it is an authentic thinkpiece on evolving through life’s challenges.
STANDOUT TRACKS: 5:29:45, How could i love you?, Uto
STICK THIS NEXT TO: cleopatrick, Highly Suspect, Palaye Royale
FISSION is out Friday 26 January via Spinefarm Records.