It Hurts to be Dead – Old Habits and Die Hards
Goes good with: Old English 800 High Gravity Malt Liquor
By Caleb Stanislaw
There’s probably enough punk bands in Dallas to start a revolution, and standing out in The Scene–even if you’ve got great tunes, players, and presence–takes dedication and a united effort. The new EP Old Habits and Die Hards from It Hurts to be Dead features a series of impassioned vocal performances from front man Sean Snyder over dense, nuanced rhythm work from bass/drum duo Nick Thornton and Kevin Glimore. These guys work nearly perfectly together. Compositionally, Old Habits is a cohesive, tidy package. The guitars are thick and juicy, and the songs are more than the typical navel-gazing one tends to find. Individually, each song successfully stands on its own by virtue of the attention paid to the structure and form of each piece. And there are some sick breakdowns.
Final track “Killing Me” stands out on Old Habits, blending a strong melodic idea with fantastic guitar tones, bruising drums, and a delightfully 90’s sounding bass line. Snyder wonders, “was it because I changed / was it because I never changed… / only all the wrong things,” setting the stage for his expression of becoming “addicted to” the song’s subject–a lost love. Saying anything new about love is difficult, but Snyder’s brand of observational, narrative lyric urges yet another perspective on what love is like, and comparing love to an addiction is not only apt, but all-too relatable. “Slurring my Apologies” encapsulates the feeling of being pissed at a lover and being mostly incapable of doing anything about it: “take your dress and dye it black / give yourself a heart attack…/ for every kiss that you want back / there’s a knife left in my back.” The anger in this tune is channeled and focused into a punky, thumpy laser beam of rhetorical punches.
It Hurts to be Dead wants to be relevant, and after hearing this EP, I think that they deserve recognition, and certainly to at least get paid $100 a head when they play out. Pushing the punk / rock / alternative envelope without coming off as a Blink 182 rip-off is a tall order–It Hurts to be Dead does not sound like a rehashing of worn ideas; these tunes are fresh and engaging. This band is doing its own thing with nary a slurred apology uttered. Don’t miss their free show on Saturday, June 23rd at the Armoury with Dead Mockingbirds and Bummer Friend.
Checkout It Hurts To Be Dead’s new EP Old Habits and Die Hards