The Death of a Party: The Rise and Fall of Scarlet City

[24 July 2007]

By Evan Sawdey

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.

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