A year ago, Dead to Society was exactly that. The Bull City punk trio announced its dissolution in February after bassist, singer and lone constant member “Ill Bill” Nottingham suffered his second heart attack. But with a new drummer and guitarist, the trio’s second record provides a reintroduction by way of its name, It’s Not Over!
Sonically, Dead to Society has its street-punk references set. They cut the straight-ahead grit with early thrash riffs ( la Cause For Alarm-era Agnostic Front) on the instrumental opener “It’s Good To Be Right,” which begs for a circle pit. They drop a ska pulse ( la …And Out Come The Wolves-era Rancid) into “Fighting in the Streets.” Nottingham packs a bellow like fellow punk vets Keith Morris and Duane Peters, pitting “we” against “they” and promising triumph as long as you “Do your part/ Do what’s in your heart.” In a sense, this music is almost critic-proof. It doesn’t reach for ambitious concepts or empty poetics. It doesn’t even push to move beyond its influences. It’s a safe bet that if you enjoy listening to any of the bands referenced herein, you’d probably find something to like about Dead to Society, too. Dead to Society reaches only for sincerityand grabs it with a vice grip.