Borrowing their name from one of Megadeth’s greatest tunes is American thrash band Dawn Patrol. After putting out a couple of EP’s, the band unleashed their first full-length, “Democracy Delivered”, in mid 2015. The best description of this album would be that it’s a thrashier, more metal version of Post Mortem’s “Coroner’s Office”. That’s an awfully specific reference, but many of the same elements are present: strange jazzy interludes, somewhat hardcoreish vocals (Dawn Patrol’s admittedly are thrashier in nature though, but they do bring in some gang shouts, particularly in “Another Useless War”), and short, but intense songs. These somewhat avant-garde jazz sections are few and far between, but appear often enough to be a distinguishing factor of this record, as they usually feature some clean guitars playing weird patterns (certainly uncharacteristic for thrash!).
Of course, the main point of “Democracy Delivered” is to thrash, and that’s just what the record does most of the time. The riffs are relatively standard, showing great homage to the Bay Area sound. Unfortunately there aren’t any riffs that stand out (other than the opening riff to “1984"), largely because the band takes an unmelodic approach. To be fair though, nothing on here sounds like a groove or half-thrash riff; everything is presented at full speed and would be sure to rip your neck off in a live setting. The aforementioned “1984” is definitely the best song on the record, as it provides hooks alongside the thrash. Towards the end of the album, the band's punk influence becomes more prevalent and provides a nice contrast to the earlier half of the record.
Part of the difficulty with “Democracy Delivered” is that the production doesn’t do the album any favours. Even though it doesn’t sound outright bad, it does sound one-dimensional, making the album a blur. The fault doesn’t really lie with the songwriting. The title track for example will have you screaming along after just a single listen, but in the context of the album, you really have to pay attention to differentiate these songs. This is likely just one of those records that you need to turn up really loudly to appreciate because it doesn’t sound quite right at lower volumes. This is one of the few times where I’m at a bit of a loss as to what the real problem is. All of the elements are there, but somehow, “Democracy Delivered” just doesn’t deliver. Again, I’d put most of the blame towards the production because the band truly does have some impressive chops. Dawn Patrol is definitely a band to keep an eye on, and with better production, their second album will likely slay all those who oppose.
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3.6/5 or 72%.
Written by Scott