I Live With Zombies – Demo / 2004 Upchuck Records / 5 Tracks / http://www.ilivewithzombies.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / Reviewed 08 February 2005
I Live With Zombies is one of the punk bands currently playing music. There, I said it. Enough with the four-hundred word ambiguously phrased bullshit, I’ve played I Live With Zombies a number of times on my radio show and each time I spin the disc I get more and more respect for the band. I wasn’t that excited about the band when I first got their CD in the mail, as it was just in a slipcase and had all the lyrics for the CD rendered in the over-used “Halloween” font. On the Monday after I received the CD, I put on the first track, “I Won’t Forget”, and was just blown away with the straight-forward and hard punk rock that I Live With Zombies play. “Keep Your Head Up” is pop-punk, but only barely; this isn’t the pop punk of Good Charlotte or Wakefield, but rather of the Descendents and Rise Against. Slowing down the tempo for the long-leadin of “Now or Never”, the recording of the disc comes into play for the first time as the track sounds oddly constricted – I feel as if I’m listening to a live band through a blown speaker. That fact is incredibly sad, because I Live With Zombies is so good.
“Now or Never” may be slower, but the bouncy beat of the track coupled with the metal-noodlings that end the track push the track farther into the stratosphere. “Fairweather” continues the weaker version of recording and really hobbles what has the potential to be a great track. The fuzz on the track is enough to compete with all instruments, but it does give the track an early-punk type of feel, as if I was listening to the first Descendents or Germs LP.
Ending this disc with “Flatline”, I Live With Zombie mixes emocore into their normal punk rock to come up with what is an incredibly exciting hybrid. As usual, the guitar work on “Flatline” is by far the most impressive facet of the band, but just as with prior tracks, the vocal assault levied on their audience shows I Live With Zombies to be at the top of their game. This is fifteen minutes of some of the most intense music to be found in the current scene. This is the equivalent to Bad Religion’s “Sorrow”, Against Me’s first LP, or hell even Strike Anywhere’s last LP. Check them out before they blow up.
Top Track: I Won’t Forget