Dead Years: Night Thoughts [Album Review]

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Dead Years
Night Thoughts
My Ruin/Dirt Cult Records [2024]

Album Overview: Night Thoughts is the sophomore album by Dead Years, a post-punk trio from Bielefeld, Germany. It follows their self-titled debut LP released in 2022 and presents a intense concept album exploring the theme of the night, its thought circles, and the quest for liberation. Released on Dirt Cult Records in North America and My Ruin Records in Europe, the album delves into themes of emptiness, haunting, and loss, but ultimately offers a glimmer of hope.

Musical Style: Dead Years’ music blends elements of post-punk with a distinct 80s influence. Their sound is characterized by playful guitar riffs, intense alternating vocals, and driving drums. The band creates an atmosphere that draws inspiration from bands like The Wipers, X, Masshysteri, Feral Trash, and Hysterese, infusing their own unique twist on depri-punk. Dead Years melodic punk approach is catchy, direct and induces fist pumping upon first listen!

Evolution of Sound: With Night Thoughts, Dead Years’ sound becomes more compact, incorporating a more atmospheric 80s-like quality while retaining their raw energy and dark aura. The album showcases a progression in their musical approach, offering a more urgent and immersive soundtrack to reality.

Artists with Similar Fire: Fans of Dead Years may find similarities in the music of bands like The Wipers, X, Masshysteri, Feral Trash, Neighborhood Brats and Hysterese, as well as influences from the aggression and gruffness of bands like Hot Water Music and Dillinger Four.

Pivotal Tracks: “Infinity” is the lead track that is a great kickoff to the album. Following some excellent guitar work, Dead Years delivers layered alternating vocals to close the track down. “Mind Circles” is one of the more speed punk songs on the album that never takes its foot off the gas. “Night Thoughts” (Title Track and Album Closer) is a concentration of the album’s themes, this track encapsulates the darkness explored throughout the record while ending on a positive note. “Just Then” does a great job showcasing the bands focus on letting their instruments do the work as the track’s melodies and introspective lyrics, serve as a glimpse into the world of Dead Years.

Lyrical Strength: The lyrics of Night Thoughts reinforce the melancholy of Dead Years’ sound, addressing themes of self-doubt, social anxieties, and the daily struggle to navigate an alienating world. Through introspective storytelling, the band delves into the complexities of human emotions, offering a poignant reflection on the darker aspects of existence while hinting at rays of hope amidst the darkness.

Bandcamp / Preorder / Dead Year’s Instagram / Dirt Cult’s Instagram

Christopher Anthony
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