Dead American, a five-piece group out of Southern California, began as a project influenced by the desire to tap into the nostalgic sound of 2000s post-hardcore. The members – Cove Reber (vocals), Chad Rexton (guitar), Josh Latham (bass, vocals), and Kyle Rosa (drums) found themselves with songs that “sound like a band from an earlier time but with a modern twist”; thus, their debut album, ‘New Nostalgia,’ was born. The members are all students of the Warped Tour Era, which is why the band takes influence from artists such as Underoath, My Chemical Romance, Senses Fail, Taking Back Sunday, and New Found Glory, but gives them a modern twist.
With the intention of not wanting to sound too digitized, the guys went into the studio utilizing producer Fred Archambault’s keen ear for live takes and his ability to capture the true essence of the band’s talents. Fred was essential in keeping the nostalgic vibe, Dead American believes the album would have sounded too modern without Fred’s input. “This is us,” Chad said. “There’s no bullshit or trying to make it sound any different other than what you’d get in a live setting.”
Having released just one EP before this album, the band was excited for the opportunity to have more freedom to voice their frustrations through writing. ‘New Nostalgia’ is a set of 13 songs that combines the collective frustrations of the group with topics ranging from relationship struggles to societal issues. When listening, it’s clear that the band was not trying to fit any “acceptable” molds and were simply writing openly after accessing how they were feeling in the moment. The laidback personalities of the band members shine through and demonstrate how this band truly does whatever they want in their creative process.
‘New Nostalgia’ blends energetic and hard-hitting post-hardcore with little hints of more modern elements and sounds. While frustration is the driving point behind the lyrics and themes of the record, Cove can invoke a wide range of emotions in the listener due to his clever wording and ability to make a specific topic emotionally relatable to anyone. “Reina’s Song,” a calmer track on the album, touches on the heaviness of overdosing and the depth of watching a loved one suffer as their addiction takes over. It’s a heart-wrenching and thought-provoking switch off from the aggressive remainder of the songs.
You can hear the band’s pride and sense of ownership while listening to ‘New Nostalgia’, which the guys do not take for granted. Cove mentioned, “Every word on this record is ours; it’s no one else’s. I’ve never been able to say everything I need to say, and this record gave me an outlet to do it.” Chad added on, “Life sucks a lot of the time but there’s always some good to come from the shit. We’re all a lot more alike than we think. From the shit, you get this weird, beautiful art-thing that is this record. This is a celebration of all of us going through the shit. Anyone can get through it, so let’s be mad together. We’re all mad about the same shit.”