Stereo Terror: Dean – Life Lessons

Release Year
2016

Track Listing
1) Blast From The Past
2) Bleeding Her For More
3) Dust To Dust
4) Enjoy The Ride
5) Everything Fades
6) Gone With The Wind
7) Lean In Lean Toward Lean With
8) Lover Ten Years Ago
9) Miner
10) My Everything
11) Nanu Nanu We Miss You
12) Perennial Rust
13) Punk Night Finale

Christopher Dean is a travelling musician who has become an integral part of the horrorpunk scene by playing with many of the biggest acts in the genre. Some of the bands Dean has played with include The Independents, Darrow Chemical Company, Children Of October and Black Cat Attack just to name a few. I had the privilege of meeting and hanging out with Dean in the summer of 2015 when he was touring with the aforementioned Darrow Chemical Company and Black Cat Attack, actually pulling double duty and playing guitar for both bands on the show. A friendship was formed on that hot August evening, and while Dean has continued to tour relentlessly with different bands, he has also found time to put together and release his solo debut album, Life Lessons. While the album is not strictly horrorpunk, there is certainly an influence from the genre due to his constant affiliation with so many bands in the scene. When I was given an opportunity to check out the album in full, I of course jumped at the chance and am thrilled to be able to review the album.

Right from the get-go with “Blast From The Past” you are introduced to the style and sound that Dean is establishing for his solo work. As I’ve already stated, the album is not pure horrorpunk. It follows much more of a straight-rock style with a punk influence and twist. The one thing that some fans may run into while listening to the album is Dean’s vocal style. The man himself has told me that he has had some negative feedback in that regard. To me, his vocal style is perfectly fine. It is different from most of his contemporaries and gives it a style all his own. If I had to compare the vocal situation to another act, it would be similar to Robby Bloodshed, where it may turn listeners off at first glance, but grows on you very quickly.

Throughout the album Dean plays with any expectations that a listener may come in with. While the first few tracks implement a style that one expects for the duration of the album, Dean ensures that he includes enough variety to keep listeners engaged throughout. Some of the highlights throughout the album includes the straight rocker “Everything Fades” and “Miner” which forms the basis for a lot of the ideas that Dean is using to market the album, with him actually having a deal for his own custom pickups from Plan916 which you can check out at the Plan916 site.

Life Lessons is a solid little rock album with a punk influence which should absolutely gain some fans. It isn’t an earth-shattering album that is going to change music forever, but it is once again, a damned solid rock album, and I certainly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of rock and musicians that are out there trying to make a name for themselves. Dean and the Miner should absolutely continue on, and I look forward to seeing what he comes up with next, in between his constant touring and presence in the scene. You can go pick up a copy of Life Lessons for yourself at Dean’s BigCartel page along with some other merch featuring the awesome Miner artwork on the album cover. And be sure to give Dean a Like on the Dean 8String Facebook page to keep up with what the man comes up with next!

Killer Track
Everything Fades

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