Dead Fall, not to be confused with the defunct thrash metal Nottingham trio Deadfall, are a loud and proud Ohio pop-punk five-piece with a splendid blend of the heavy stuff to get you pumped and emotive vocals to get your right in the feels.
Oftentimes music can be left to fade into a background hum and it’s only until a great riff or poetic lyric do we actively tune back in and pay attention. Thankfully that isn’t the case with ‘Never Expected’. Its lyrical excellence explores the struggles of disillusionment with life as we grow older and apart from one another, a theme carried throughout all five emotionally loaded tracks.
It’s no doubt that Dead Fall wear their influences on their sleeves as ‘Never Expected’ is a punchy collection of guitar-driven pop-punk. For example, ‘Temporary Bliss’ is reminiscent of The Story So Far with its back-and-forth vocal exchanges and dense percussion. EP opener, ‘AC’, unsurprisingly has hints of Knuckle Puck with producer Seth Henderson at the helm. Nevertheless, the angst in Jake Gambatese’s vocals and Nick Barker’s thriving drum work gives the EP a strong start.
Overall the EP is concisely delivered, allowing the quintet to showcase their range. For example, ‘Delude’ keep up the momentum provided early on, embracing a soaring, bouncing melody along the way. Likewise, ‘Drowned Out’ rushes through with plenty of emotion and sonic guitars battling for centre stage with Gambatese’s impassioned words.
Title track, ‘Never Expected’ rounds off the EP on a reflective note. Reverb guitars give way to Gambatese’s release of “you promised me, no promised kept”. Thematically, it captures that moment of acceptance and moving on. While stylistically their more considered approach is a welcome change of pace to the explosive punk that precedes it.
It’s clear Dead Fall have found their feet on ‘Never Expected’. While its core sound does have a tendency to sound all too familiar, they do have an aura to make you give this repeated listens.
‘Never Expected’ EP by Dead Fall is out now.
Words by Jade Knox.