What do I know about the Yellow Dead Bettys? I know they’re a Fort Wayne band. I know they once got shut down at a certain local bar (to be unnamed) for rocking too hard. And, with their new B.P.M. disc about to drop in a matter of days (with a release show on March 19 at 4D’s Bar & Grill, no less), I know they do rock plenty hard. But I kinda like that, so, rest assured, B.P.M. did not get shut down at my place. This disc brims with big riffs, crunchy guitars, gruff but melodic vocals and plenty of attitude. Hey, if you have the stones to call a big rockin’ anthem “Here, There, and Everywhere” with nary a Beatles nod in sight, you’re bringing some ’tude to the table.
“Long Way Home” pushes and pulls blues rock and tribal beats as it punches its way along, while “Social Disease” writhes inside its asymmetrical (yet stomping) structure like a modern-day Alice in Chains tune. The tough side of YDB continues to dominate during the heavy “No Future,” wherein neo-Hetfield vocals and relentless guitars pummel the tune forward.
But these guys have more than one trick in their bag. Witness the bright pop-rock of “Nicotine Girl,” which fairly bops along like The Cure on an upswing. It’s a timeless song, and a nice changeup that shows off the band’s range. Likewise, the title track rocks enough for the big clubs, and its infectious melody and sunny vocal harmonies only serve to elevate it. Another upside to the poppier elements is the fact that they make the harder rockers (such as the album’s opener, “Garden of Eden”) punch that much harder. The closing “Leave Her Alone” features another one of those monster lower-register riffs that sticks in your head as much as the vocals do.
Buy B.P.M. for the big, speaker-shaking riffs; stay for the songs. You won’t be shutting this one down. Nope. (D.M. Jones)
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