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Album Review

Dead Red Sea's debut, Birds, fits in the typical indie rock niche, yet isn't as emo as their frontman's former act, Cross My Heart. Rather, Dead Red Sea showcases a few tricks up their sleeve, including some country guitar licks ("It's So Hard to Be Alive"), Far East-influenced tracks ("Birds"), bouncy, straightforward jams like "Obscene Calls," and much more. Lyrically, lead singer and songwriter Ryan Shelkett still has an occasional depressing offering ("It's So Hard to Be Alive"), but many of the songs seem more obtuse and open. While much of Dead Red Sea is proud and confident in their ability to rock, those who were hoping for an album extreme in its offering will be disappointed. Nevertheless, Birds is still a good beginning point for fans interested in a standard indie rock sound with a bit of flair.


Formed: Baltimore, MD

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Dead Red Sea is a Baltimore, MA-based indie rock outfit whose spare, melancholy emocore style borrows not only from Midwestern hardcore, but also from blues, and even country. The group's sole full-length album, Birds, was released by Deep Elm Records in 2001. The band, which includes vocalist and guitarist Ryan Shelkett, Rhodes pianist (and sometime drummer) Charles Cole, bassist Alan Randall, and drummer (and sometime Rhodes pianist) Buck Holk, is an emo supergroup of sorts; Shelkett once fronted...
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Top Albums and Songs by Dead Red Sea

Birds, Dead Red Sea
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