Dead by July starts off helter-skelter, and the band burns countless calories staying out of kilter. Hopped up on booze and smokes, the Cleveland quartet play punk based on the Detroit model: hard, fast, no-frills garage rock.
Four/four-crash-fill-repeat drumming pounds away behind dragster riffing that comes out of analog amps so loud, you can feel the fuzz. The denim-clad crew climbs up on soapboxes, only to leap headlong from them, pausing first to deliver a trite message or three: alcohol can be poison, sex and drugs are swell fun, and the mysterious men in black suits who killed Kennedy now run rock radio. None of it's exactly news -- well, "Stolen Voice" is; the rockabilly-inflected paroxysm addresses secret military trials. The disc was recorded a year ago, and if the band can step up the frequency of its local gigs, expect to see Dead by July in next year's best-of pools, alongside the Vacancies and the Sign-Offs.