Tone Deaf Records

New - Dead Years - Self Titled - LP

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Maybe you're already familiar with the Bielefeld conspiracy, which posits that the German town and its inhabitants don't actually exist. Like most conspiracy theories, it's utterly batshit - but if you can sufficiently warp your own sense of logic, you might just find yourself believing it. Which brings us on to thoroughly excellent punk band Dead Years - the fact that they profess to being from Bielefeld might not be the irrefutable proof required to debunk the theory, but it's certainly enough reason for you to want to move there and live in their shadow for the rest of yr life. Dead Years emerged fully formed in 2020, courtesy of an excellent four-song demo that opened with a notably mighty cut called 'Cloaks' and only got better from there. Three of those four songs return on this, their self-titled debut album - amped up and sounding better than ever. This is a record that hijacks the raw-throated immediacy of 00s punk faves like Fifth Hour Hero and Young Livers and laces it with a dark angularity that feels like a thoroughly modern take on post-punk - Iceage, Protomartyr, Facs, you know the drill. Happily, though, Dead Years' sound is very much their own. With lead vocals shared between their three members (guitarist Jonas, bassist Juli and drummer Hannes), sometimes even within the space of the same song, they storm through these 11 tracks with an immediacy and sense of purpose that cuts straight through the speakers and carves its way into your subconscious, especially on highlights like 'Able To Run' and 'A Dead Truth'. By the hypnotic four-note riff that guides the epic intro to penultimate track 'Clockworks', you'll have surrendered entirely to their persuasive charms and you'll know that this record is destined for repeat plays, not to mention your undying devotion. We'd better hope that Bielefeld - and by extension Dead Years - actually do exist, 'cause this album is too damn good for mere theory.