Already Dead is No Problem’s second full-length release since the Edmonton four-piece formed in 2009. Fans of DOA, The Circle Jerks, The Germs and The Viletones will crash into this steaming wreck of records with glee. The word-work highlights the dark state of society and the accompanying music is hard, fast punk. What’s solid is that Already Dead stands true to No Problem’s hardcore influences while maintaining their own distinct style.
The album’s introductory track, “Waiting for the Bomb,” opens with simple guitar plucks and plenty of reverb. The pace slowly picks up until it explodes — kicking off into some fast-paced punk with subtle experimental accents, this cut sets the tone for much of the album.
“The Controller,” which carries at its forefront a refrain that relentlessly drills, “We’re all controlled,” into your head, hit me with a crunch. Creaky guitar interludes layered with simple riffs and feedback reminiscent of Fugazi added punch. I was controlled — after giving the album a few listens, “Different Shades of Grey” really stuck. This track is extremely catchy and listeners will enjoy having it on their minds for hours at a time.
Side two opens with “Boots,” a record that begins with eerie muted feedback and layers of electronics. Drums begin to rustle and the listener is taken back to full speed. The title cut, “Already Dead,” is another chant-able anthem, which is layered over a hauntingly striking, looping guitar riff.
Already Dead will get you amped — and comes at you highly recommended.
By Jenna Lee Williams