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African Elephants

Dead to Me

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Album Review

After Dead to Me lead singer and founding member Jack Dalrymple moved on from music to pursue fatherhood full-time, the rest of the band continued on, taking three years to deliver a proper full-length follow-up to Cuban Ballerina. On African Elephants, the charmingly gruff vocal interplay between Dalrymple and second vocalist/guitarist Chicken is sadly absent, but replacement vocalist Nathan Grice picks up the slack aptly as the band's new frontman. The NOFX-influenced three-chord So-Cal punk aesthetic is still evident, especially in the quick-paced, hook-filled shout-along anthems "Modern Muse," "Nuthin Runnin' Through My Brain," and "Fell Right In." Elsewhere, however, the band strays from the norm in the dub-infused Clash tributes "X" and "A Day Without War." Meanwhile, "Cruel World" and "California Sun" paint Dead to Me in a new jangly light, as clean-shaven balladeers. While these departures are a far cry from the typical zippy punk numbers that fans of Fat Wreck and One Man Army might expect, African Elephants marks a tasty new direction for the San Franciscan rockers.

Biography

Formed: 2003 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Punk revivalists Dead to Me formed in late 2003 in the wake of the dissolution of San Francisco's One Man Army. The band formed around OMA vets Jack Dalrymple (guitar/vocals) and Brandon Pollack (guitar); Western Addiction bassist Chicken (who also worked at Fat Wreck Chords) soon joined on and split vocals with Dalrymple. Boasting a working-class sound similar to OMA that blended late-'70s punk with the sonic grit of a band like Dillinger Four, they eventually recruited Chicken's cousin Ian Anderson...
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African Elephants, Dead to Me
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