Dead Billionaires have something about them that is very Dead Milkmen meets Neutral Milk Hotel and that’s a pretty cool mix if you ask me. The bands newest release Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book takes its name from a 1990’s product designed by the US government to teach children to prepare for natural disasters and emergencies. Dead Billionaires explain their album as “a guidebook for adults fighting their way through the bewildering fog of disenfranchisement and powerlessness that make up modern living.”
“Curb” is an excellent starting point for this album and the fun continues with songs like “Straight Shooter”, “Pink Slip/WhiteTruck” and “Stoplight”, which I consider highlights. It’s hard to find anything to not like about this as just as you are starting to have fun the album is over as it only has 7 tracks. It’s perfect for a few re-listens. At moments the band kind of reminds me of The Pack A.D., a Canadian band that mixes the same style of vocals with a more garage rock vibe.
The bands current focus is on the song “Curb”, which as stated is a great starting point for getting into Dead Billionaires as it combines what they do best which is a hybrid mix of punk and indie rock. Singer/guitarist Warren Campbell explains, “Curb began in the first week of Virginia's shelter in place order in March 2020. My roommates and I were drinking too much coffee and beer and watching the news. I'd just been laid off from my restaurant job and all I could see was the hesitancy of our government and corporations to do the right thing for the sake of the almighty dollar.”
“Curb” is accompanied by a video that finds the punks offered their own product line and publicly-traded Dead Billionaires stocks which leads to a series of disastrous consequences and ultimately lampoons the disparity of those with power versus those without. Campbell adds, “since our songs deal with such serious topics, we always want to also make an emphasis on humor and portray our silly side. Riding across the Belvidere bridge in downtown Richmond in the back of a 1996 Mazda pickup may have been the riskiest thing any of us have done for the sake of art.”
Throughout the entire album witty lyrics like “let’s use our welfare checks to play the lottery, use the winnings for our new frontal lobotomy’s” will keep you hanging on the humorous and catchy stories the band is conveying. Overall a solid effort and perfect for the punk who appreciates indie and garage rock. The unique vocal quality and intelligent lyrics are enough to make this album really shine. The full album ‘Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book’ drops on March 10th!