Deadly Reign is a three-piece punk unit based in Austin, TX. They are a fairly new band (not to be confused with the ‘80s Cali band of the same name) but play with the skill and poise of a veteran group. And not surprisingly so, as they are comprised of members of crust luminaries like World Burns to Death, Scarred For Life, Kontraklase, Kegcharge,and Century Of War. They play a Portland-by-way-of-Scandinavia strain of D-beat. Slave is their new 7” and the fifth selection from the Profane Existence Limited Edition Single Series.
The three songs here—“Employment of Slaves”, “Suffer" and "Sinister Minds”—are tonally deep, entrenched in modern-day crust, and very well-produced. The drums on this EP are awesome; driving and fervent. Meanwhile the bass and guitars are so slick that they come across a little too deliberate at times. Especially for a genre that is transmitted best with an air of hasty abandoned. This isn’t on the chaotic noise end of the D-beat spectrum like, say Nö Pöwer or Mauser. Rather it’s very clean and polished, in the “epic” style typical of acts like Wolfbrigade or Passiv Dödshjälp.
As to be expected, there is a heavy sociopolitical aspect in the lyrics and imagery. The lyrics center on topics such as worker’s rights and system injustice. The cover work shows a pair of hands chained together set against an aerial view of industrious smokestacks and a power plant-like compound. The vinyl comes in four different colors—blue, white, clear, and regular old black. Although I probably wouldn’t have sought this out on my own, I am still pleasantly surprised. It’s a pretty solid release and an excellent inclusion in what has already been a fairly eclectic PE single series.
7.0 / 10
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