AGGRESSIVE TOUR: Dead Season go for a ride
Sometimes a typo is more than a typo. When the “Sibilance” column last week reported that Dead Season played to 300 fans in winning its third straight WTOS Battle of the Bands, it’s possible it was simply a matter of reading that number 3000 wrong. But maybe it had something to do with the Portland-centric mindset that I’ll admit even seeps into my own hopefully tolerant brain at times. There is Portland (the Big City) and there is the rest of Maine, and if even the most popular bands can’t draw big numbers in Portland, how could they possibly draw big numbers in a town like Skowhegan, most notable in these parts for being on the way to Quebec City?
Well, here’s a heads-up that Dead Season are a big and important band on the Maine landscape, as if their utter dominance of the local “Top 10” hadn’t been indication enough. People love this band.
There’s a lot of things I love about this band, too. They’re nose-to-the-grindstone workers, rapidly improving with each of their releases, and they’ve created an ethos that they stick by with fierce tenacity, supplying their Dead Season Army with plenty of ammunition for their admiration. They infuse their metal and hardcore with a melodic underpinning, somewhat unique thanks to their down-tuning, that opens avenues for a spectrum of music fans — and they’re not afraid to show they care.
Plus, Ian Truman, the lead singer, is a high school English teacher. Don’t you wish you came into English one day, only to listen to your teacher talk about how he opened up for Buckcherry last night? Of course, there are plenty of English teachers and sales guys and carpenters playing great music in and around Maine. A very few musicians actually make their living with their craft. But Dead Season embody every reason why that doesn’t matter.
Consider the ambitious CD-release schedule they created for themselves, first launching the record with a show at the Big Easy last week, then hitting South Paris the night after. This week, they’ll tackle Orono and Ushuaia on Friday then Warden’s, in Lewiston, on Saturday. Next weekend they’ll hit the Shak in Rumford. Two weekends later they’ll do an all-ages gig in Ellsworth at the White Birches. Seriously, who plays CD-release gigs in Ellsworth? Well, Dead Season do.
They give their fans everything they want, it seems, and they’ve finally delivered the full-length record many of them have been clamoring for, even if only six of the songs were newly written for the record. “The One,” the band’s first WTOS hit from the Down Again EP, is the heart of the record, new and vastly improved for this recording, and “American Nothing,” “M.A.T.H.,” and “Driven,” from their second EP, The Fight, make up much of the album’s B-side, with new drum tracks from Andy Hackett (brought on earlier this year to replace Martin Nadeau) and new vocals from Truman on “M.A.T.H.”