Dead Letter Dept. Rock N' Roll Hates You

Dead Letter Dept.Rock N' Roll Hates You
There is something thoroughly refreshing about the Dead Letter Dept., a band whose entire existence seems dedicated to taking down the faux-punk posturing that sadly dominates the Toronto scene to which they belong. Taking shots at everyone from Treble Charger’s Greig Nori to the bands they’re occasionally forced to share the stage with, lyricist Rob Moir knows exactly where he stands in a city filled with bands who have more T-shirt designs than songs. While scene politics are not the only subject touched on, a feeling of dissociation with the popular ideology is one of the record’s central themes, be it in music, personal relationships, or world politics. Musically, the album is light years ahead of the band’s earlier, more straight-ahead emo-punk work. Maintaining the same style, the band embellish their sound with pianos and keyboards, never cluttering their songs with unnecessary back-up vocals or copious guitar tracks. At their best on tracks like the progressive "Is Everything Alright?” and the vitriolic "Nip/Tuck/Face/Magic,” Dead Letter Dept. have proven that even in what can sometimes be a heavily water-downed scene, songs still matter more than merch. (Underground Operations)