A barren soundscape emanates in a future reality that somehow seems familiar. Overhead, the crackle of lightning zaps, 80s drums burst, and a grid matrix becomes your world. Soon, terminators and bandits on rice rockets will be prowling, looking for prey to bludgeon with their spiked bats. This is the intro song “Streets of Death” of R.I.P.s retro saga Dead End.
The profane retro chaos was unleashed on October 9th via Riding Easy Records, not long after their live album Live on Death Row. What sticks out is how fun the album is. The BDSM mask on the cover is an homage to Quiet Riot and the tongue-in-cheek wit of Spinal Tap zipped together. R.I.P. recaptures the anarchy of punk, the 8-bit machinations of thrash, and the devil-may-care attitude of a forgotten era. The whole record feels as if you stepped into an action film with a long-barreled laser rifle.
In their song “Nightmare”, the Portland reapers sing “I don’t know where I’m going. I don’t know how it ends.” That is the modus operandi for Dead End, except any signs of it being a dead end were driven right through. They exude an alternate universe Dead Kennedys and the fruit is fresh. “Judgement Night” could be blasted while beating Nazis to a twitching pulp. “One Foot In The Grave” starts mid-tempo and then careens into a double-time street race to get the heart racing.
The first half of the album is dedicated to solidifying the milieu of the territory which is not lost on their rabid fans, but the second half changes face with more prog-passages and experimental delivery. The symphonic dirge of “Buried Alive” is what all of Rob Zombie’s House of 10,000 Corpses embodies. Every corner is darkness and death. There is no escape. “Dead of the Night” has a peculiar Phil Anselmo-esque vocal sermon of haunt and horror.
With Halloween just around the bend, throwing in RIP’s new streetcore slab is the energy you require. It is the soundtrack of cyberpunks drugged on doom syrup; sedated by sadism. It is occult unorthodoxy slathered in blood and roadkill.
Dead End, at the end of the path, is pure and unadulterated entertainment. If you have a problem with entertainment, then rest in pieces.