Despite the political nature of their songs, they manage to sound more enthusiastic than angry and are more likely to inspire dancing than rioting. The chant of "We'll take back everything they steal!" ("The Promise") captures the triumphant stick-it-to-the-man spirit of Green Day, and singer Thomas Barnett's vocals on "Two Thousand Voices" channel the melodies of Jimmy Eat World pushed to a frantic speed by an unrelenting rhythm section.
"Dead FM's" liner notes are packed full of anecdotes and explanations, which often provide a personal angle to the songs' fierce sentiments: Barnett describes his grandfather's involvement in the Manhattan Project ("Sedition") and the group's 2003 incarceration in and deportment from Japan ("House Arrest"). But often, the group's text veers into grandiose statements ("Punk has always been a place for solidarity and liberation from ignorance and religious prejudice") or unnecessary clarifications ("This here song talks about belief systems and demagogues") instead of letting the songs speak for themselves.
-- Catherine P. Lewis