Dead Ending EP
One imagines that Dead Ending must be sort of a geek-out project for Rise Against bassist Joe Principe, Alkaline Trio drummer Derek Grant and the Bomb guitarist Jeff Dean. Veterans in their own right already, the trio team up here with Vic Bondi, who fronted seminal Chicago predecessors Articles Of Faith in the early '80s (and sporadic reunion appearances throughout the last three decades). If there are any excited nerves, it certainly isn't obvious: The combined experience here shows on an impressive debut EP.
Dead Ending alternates between the short and the shorter: The odd-numbered tracks fall somewhere between 2:30 and 3:00, and the other two last little more than a minute apiece. This provides a generous symmetry while the EP seemingly moves full-tilt for 10-and-a-half minutes. But there's enough versatility to remain pretty compelling for that course. The breakdown in rambling, catchy opener “All Your Satellites Are Failing” falls in the classic Dead Kennedys/Bad Brains tradition, while they crib a bit of headbanging, late-’80s noise-hardcore for the raging “Wasted.” The guitar in “Ninety-Nine” pulls from “I Don't Wanna Hear It” and Can I Say with earnest gusto, and socially critical closer “All The Way Down” gets its comparative stadium rock on, albeit with the band's snarl nicely intact.