You already know DEATH BY STEREO is Southern California's most savage hardcore band, the most politically-astute dudes in all of punkdom, and hosts of the gnarliest pit at last summer's Warped Tour. Guess what? They're in your face all over again with Into the Valley of Death ---13 tracks of neck-snapping metalcore anthems. "We never tried to set any boundaries," says singer Efrem Schulz, "this band is a process and it's just a matter of getting to a place we like with our music. We wanted to get a new sound but I still think this is a DEATH BY STEREO record---it's just a lot heavier."Take Valley's opening salvo, "Shhh-It'll Be Our Little Secret," an acid commentary on sexual abuse that sees frontman Efrem going from a hush to a shriek in a heart beat while guitarist Dan Palmer unleashes thrashy grooves and chunky riffs. An essential foundation for this squall is Todd Hennig's tireless pummel and precision time signatures synching with Paul Miner'schest-caving low-end. And it only gets sicker from there: the withering "I Wouldn't Piss in Your Ear if Your Brain Was on Fire," is a first-rate hate-mongering jingle; "Good Morning America" is dripping with revulsion for the Bush administration and its limp-dicked supporters in the mainstream press; and the hackle-raising solidarity of "What I Can't Hear, Touch, Taste Or Smell Can't Hurt Me" will have you clapping your pierced pit partner on the back. "A lot of the records that I liked growing up were art imitating life - and I think a lot of bands are losing sight of that. The world has been such a fucked up place in the last year so I really wanted Into the Valley of Death to reflect that but also to put out the message of individuality, that we should all think for ourselves."But unlike all those more-PC-than-thou punkers, DEATH BY STEREO are definitely not up their own asses with agendas nor are they so serious that they've forgotten how to have a good time. "We're all a buncha goofy dudes and so we want fans to enjoy themselves. A lot of bands are preaching all the time, like they can't make fun of themselves and that's a drag. I think if people come to our shows and have a good time, then they'll go back to the lyrics and that's when they can walk away with something." When Public Enemy's Chuck D. said, "the revolution will not be televised," he was right. That's because DEATH BY STEREO are sticking it straight inside your ear.