ALBUM REVIEW: Death Lens – Cold World

The latest band to come out of Epitaph Records’ fine collection of artists is Death Lens. With humble beginnings of being essentially a “party punk” band to today, Death Lens have truly evolved into a whole new beast, bringing politics to the forefront of their music, with all that they’ve experienced since beginning the band in the early 2010’s. Cold World is set to be the culmination of that process. “It’s the desire to thrive in a deteriorating world” stated the band. With the genre being as saturated as it is, what can Death Lens bring to the table of Punk?

The band waste no time in launching headfirst into the first track, “Fucked Up”, bringing in hard, fast guitars. It’s very reminiscent of the late nineties Fat Wreck Chords bands, but brought to current times; more akin to the likes of Drug Church with an edgier sound. Vocalist Brian Torres’ voice is on point, raw enough to be still considered a solid Punk vocalist, but with a great melody that brings the choruses to the next level. 

The chanting “Go on, Go on, Go on” brings about those nostalgic Tony Hawk’s skater vibes. Undeniably one of those earworms that will inevitably sit in your head for the entirety of summer.

Nothing encapsulates the more serious side of Death Lens than the fourth track “Limousine” beginning by spitting venom towards politicians and mega wealthy, speaking lies, and going to their limousines. Now with a number of bands, this deviation into political lyricism is nothing more than lip service to appease the vast majority of Punk fans. However from the sincerity of Torres’ voice when speaking out against these people, you’re unable to cast these aspersions at the band’s characters and how genuine they’re being. 

There is nothing but pure loathing behind these words. Whilst Torres builds up this almost spoken-word portion of the song, guitars and drums ramp up speed; just as you think the band are going to launch into a crescendo, the momentum is put right back down with a slow bass interlude. This happens once more, and on the third build-up, an added layer of vocals joins the song shouting down the microphone while still continuing to build up into a frenzy.

For the first time in the band’s career, they have opted to use a separate producer, Brett Romnes, more notable for his work with the likes of Hot Mulligan and Mom Jeans. Through Romnes, the band have been able to take their work to the next level sonically more than they ever have before. Track “Vacant” is a clear example of his production being put to work in the best way. 

Cold World really displays the band stepping it up to create some incredible Punk Rock music, the production, the lyricism, and the overall ethos of the band makes them one of the contenders to be the next The Menzingers, Hot Mulligan, Spanish Love Songs, and so on. The only true test for the band is whether they can stick the landing on the live circuit and the follow-up album. 

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7 / 10