The Death of a Party: The Rise and Fall of Scarlet City
PopMatters Interviews Editor
Oakland’s Death of a Party exist entirely because of the Blood Brothers, the hardcore band that screamed their way all the way to the big leagues. Party comes off like a Blood Bros. tribute band without the layers of distorted feedback. The stop-start song structures? The cabaret-styled chord changes? The wild vocal yelps? It’s all there, riding on a total been-there done-that quality. The group excels when they put down the guitars: the piano-lead “Emerald Crowns” is an exquisite gem of minor-key pop, and “The Fucking Ocean” reinvents My Chemical Romance as the unofficial muse’s for the Decemberists’ epic sea-chanteys. Single “Weekend” builds off of Tool-like bass riffs before collapsing into its muddled chorus, just as hook-less as the rest of the LP. As of now, the group’s influences are suffocating them like a tight straightjacket. Until they shake that off, you’ll see why the band earns its name.
Evan Sawdey began contributing to PopMatters in late 2005 after contributing for years to his college newspaper The Knox Student
. Evan became the Associate Interviews Editor for PopMatters in the summer of 2008, and then the full Interviews Editor a year after that. Since joining, Evan's work has been written for and been quoted/featured in a wide array of publications including SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and multiple national newspapers. Evan has been a guest on WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle
album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com
), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C.
(Big Break Records) and the 2012 re-releases of Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder's standalone 1985 pop effort
(Virgin/Gold Legion), the JoBoxers' 1983 debut album Like Gangbusters
, 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry
, and Plastic Bertrand's 1978 album AN 1
(all Hot Shot Records). He is a current member of The Recording Academy and resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye
should you be so inclined.
The Death of a Party - Weekend