Independent hard rock band Dead Original has been making a lot of noise in recent months, releasing new singles from its new album Bought and Sold. Those singles have made quite the impact at radio stations nationwide, and now after being pushed back more than once, the band finally released its new album late last month. The 14-song record is a presentation that I sure to help the band make even more noise. Audiences will find it interesting in part because of its overall musical approach. This will be discussed shortly. The lyrical themes that are featured throughout the 47-minute record make for their own interest and will be discussed a little later. The record’s production puts the final touch to its presentation and will also be examined later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Bought and Sold. All things considered, they make the album a work that will appeal to the band’s clearly targeted audiences.
Dead Original’s new full-length studio recording Bought and Sold is a presentation that is worth taking in at least occasionally. That is proven in part to the musical arrangements that make up the album’s body. The arrangements in question exhibit a clear late 90s-era rock and hard rock style sound and stylistic approach. Case in point is ‘Die Alone,’ which comes late in the album’s run. The combination of front man Paul Wandtke’s vocal delivery and guitar work, the driving force from drummer Sean McCole, and the low-end from bassist Mike Petrasek gives the song’s arrangement something of a Nirvana-eque sound and vibe. Wandtke’s vocals are themselves even somewhat comparable to those of Nirvana’s late, legendary front man Kurt Cobain what with the semi-wailing style delivery that he uses. On another hand, a song, such as the record’s title track presents a comparison to works from the likes of Taproot, Puddle of Mudd, and Stained with its heavy, driving guitars, Wandtke’s vocals, which even include a rather powerful scream at one point. Interesting in its own right here is the song’s production, which will be touched on later. On yet another note, a song, such as ‘Beached’ boasts its own unique heaviness right from its outset. The collective chug of the guitars, bass, and drums joins with the vocals here to lend the arrangement to comparison to works from the likes of Chevelle. It’s one more way in which the album’s musical arrangements show their appeal for fans of the hard rock sounds of the late 90s (and even early 2000s). When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, that overall presentation makes even clearer, the importance of this record’s musical arrangements, and that of their role in the overall album’s appeal. They are just one portion of what makes the album worth hearing. The record’s lyrical content adds its own share of appeal to the record.
The lyrical content featured in Bought and Sold is important to note because where the record’s musical arrangements limit its appeal, the lyrical themes will help the record find a farther-reaching appeal. The lyrical theme featured in ‘Blasted’ for instance – the album’s latest single – presents a message that, according to Wandtke, is uplifting. “‘Blasted’ is kind of a self-reflection song like when you go outside and stare at the sky and think to yourself, ‘You know, things might be all right,” he said of the song’s lyrical theme. That message is illustrated clearly in the song’s lead verse, which finds Wandtke singing, What’s the point of letting go?/What’s the point of giving up?/I’ve killed myself too many times to let go/Don’t let go.” The song’s chorus adds to the illustration as it states, “I’m staring at the sun/Feeling like I’m one/Wondering where I’m going/I’m staring at the sun/Feeling like we’re one/Wondering where we’re going.” This is that statement of assurance of which Wandtke was talking. The back and forth in that mindset continues in the song’s second verse, in which Wandtke sings, “What’s the point in all of this/What’s the point in all I’ve done/Now I’m back, to where I’m from/Don’t let go, don’t let go.” There again is that initial self doubt, which is then replaced by the statement in the chorus refrain. It serves overall, as a reminder that things can and do get better. It’s a reminder that is just as welcome here as from any other act. Additionally, it is just one example of the importance of the lyrical themes to Bought and Sold. The album’s title track is another example of why the album’s lyrical content is so important.
The lyrical theme featured in ‘Bought and Sold’ takes on familiar topic of “greed and corruption with the general consensus that it’s really up to you to make a change and difference in this world,” according to Wandtke. His statement is illustrated clearly in the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state, “I’m under the bridge and screaming/I’m cold/I can’t feel my lips/They’re bleeding/I’m broke/Waiting for nothing/And I’ll wait for them to change the world/While we wait for them/To disease the world.” It is even more clearly translated in the song’s second verse and chorus refrain, which state, “I’m playing the hand life’s dealing/I’ve lost control/These feelings keep on feeding, my lost soul/And I’ll wait for them to change the world/While we all just watch them rape the world.” Wandtke’s statement is finalized following the bridge as he states, “I’m making plans to leave now/To make amends at home/The world is superseding my only chance of hope/But it’s up to me/To make the best of this/It’s up to me/I’m letting go/Finding hope I know/By letting go/I’m letting go/We’re bought and sold.” Looking at all of this Wandtke’s commentary translates clearly. That accessibility and the song’s familiar theme does much to continue showing the importance of the album’s lyrical content. It shows in its own way, how the record’s lyrical content will appeal to listeners just as much as the album’s musical arrangements. It is just one more example of what makes the record’s lyrical themes important in their own right. ‘Beached’ is one more example of what makes the record’s lyrical content so important.
The lyrical theme featured in ‘Beached’ comes across as centering on the topic of someone being at one’s wits’ end. That is inferred through the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state, “I’m right on the edge of resolution/Nothing makes sense/It’s time for me to, time for me to wonder what’s next?/Cetacean stranding/I’m out of my head/I am barely, barely breathing.” What is interesting is the comparison to a beached whale with the use of the phrase, “Cetacean stranding.” It goes without saying that the use of such a metaphor in talking about one’s mental and emotional state. It is certain to generate its own share of discussion. As the song continues, there is resolution as Wandtke sings in the second verse, “I’m holding out this fight/That’s growing in me/I will make my way.” In other words, it is another message of hope and determination that is certain to resonate with any listener. To that end, it is one more example of what makes Bought and Sold’s lyrical content as important as the album’s musical arrangements. When this is considered along with the other lyrical content noted here and the rest of the album’s lyrical content, that whole ensures the lyrical content’s importance will shine through even more. Even with all of this in mind, the overall content is still just a portion of what makes Bought and Sold worth hearing. The record’s production puts the final touch to its presentation.
The production that went into Bought and Sold is important because of the impact that it has on the record’s general effect. The album’s title track is a prime example of the importance of the record’s production. There is a certain raw sense about this song. It’s not a spit-shined work. Yet at the same time, all of the instrumentation and vocals are balanced out. By comparison, a track, such as ‘Fade To Light’ has more of a crisp production. The bass and drums together are akin to the stylistic approach taken by members of Korn. They really cut through because of the song’s production. Meanwhile Wandtke’s guitar line maintains that aforementioned raw sound. It makes for an interesting juxtaposition, again attributed to the production. Between these songs and so many others here, it become clear why the production is important. That element ensured each arrangement had its own unique identity within the sounds and stylistic approaches. When it pairs with the record’s overall content, that whole makes the album in whole, a record that is deserving of being heard at least once.
Dead Original’s new album Bought and Sold is a presentation that will find some appeal among audiences. This is proven in part through its musical arrangements, which take listeners back to the aggro- and hard rock of the late 90s and even early 2000s. The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements make for even more appeal. Specifically, they will ensure even wider appeal than the musical arrangements. The record’s production puts the final touch to its presentation, ensuring each song exhibits its own identity within the bigger picture of the album. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album. All things considered, they make Bought and Sold a presentation that many audiences will find worth being bought. Bought and Sold is available now.
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