Today’s Song: The Dead Deads Get Beautifully Monstrous on “Deal with Me”

The Dead Deads
The Dead Deads
“Deal with Me,” bright, aggressive, and muscular, exemplifies the consistently empowering music that fans have come to expect from The Dead Deads.
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Stream: “Deal with Me” – The Dead Deads


Coming from The Dead Deads, the phrase “deal with me” sounds like mission statement. The Nashville rockers have always followed a code of amorphousness in their quest to make music as it’s never been heard and, simultaneously, as it’s always been heard. Now on the eve of the release of their third album, the band presents a single that struts through the cracks between grunge, hip-hop, glam, metal, and jazz. Released March 5, “Deal with Me” keeps right in step with their two previous singles, “Hey Girlfriend” and “In for Blood”, showing that the band remains flush with the kind of ideas that show us that rock music is alive and ripe for innovation.

Deal with Me - The Dead Deads
Deal with Me – The Dead Deads
Round and round for the crown
It’s a world of want
Ashes we all fall down
I try to land on top
You want chips for the games?
I got ‘em.
You want a list of the names?
I taught ‘em.

You know the stakes are high when the song starts with a bluff—a single grunge chord that ought to preclude the horn riff that follows. But it works. The meaty drop-tuned progression, the catwalk-slow rhythm, the unpredictable vocal melody, they all indicate that the monsters are in the house and they have abducted the horn section. It makes a fitting vehicle for the band’s central message of self-determination and self-acceptance. They play it at a society that bids higher and higher against the few who live their lives outside the norm.

“Whether it’s an NFL player snagging an interception, a transgender politician taking office, or a fourth-grader wearing a tutu to school,” the band told Alternative Press, “the message is the same—‘I bring something unique to the table, I’m doing what I was born to do, and I guess you’re just going to have to deal with me.’”

It’s not the same, baby
The rules have changed, baby
I’m on my own, I’m fully grown, I’m in my zone
Deal with me
You’re gonna have to deal with me
The Dead Deads
The Dead Deads

The band, cut down since their previous album from a quintet to a power trio, plays a little looser on the track, making good use of the space between their instruments. No one player takes the spotlight. They remain punk in their approach, synchronizing around attitude and flashing only the occasional bit by muting the other instruments.

Keep your fleece white as snow
Be a little lamb
I’ll do things in your clothes
Like the wolf I am

On this year’s International Women’s Day, The Dead Deads released the “Deal With Me” video. The casino glitz and loud outfits used in the video could have been predicted by longtime listeners. The band’s music may have evolved, and they may have traded their alien mascots for glittery teddy bears, but when they say that the rules have changed, they mean for everybody else. This is not a different Dead Deads. It’s the same, multi-faceted Dead Deads in a fuller form, proudly shining for those who have been dealt a difficult hand.

Come deal with me
Rising up like a kaiju
From the deep blue sea
Nobody does it like I do
I’m feeling free, I’m feeling me
‘Cause no one really gets what they want
And that is beautiful
The Dead Deads
The Dead Deads

Like many artists, The Dead Deads have long mused about the nature of beauty.

Perhaps more than most, they conflate beauty with monstrousness (see previously released tracks “Super Tiny”, “Murder Ballad”), and have yet to give their focus to one over the other. “Deal with Me” celebrates the reality that in today’s world, even if the odds disfavor it, you can be both.

The Dead Deads have an LP, Tell Your Girls It’s Alright, due in 2021. Expect more celebrating, more empowerment, and more surprises. This band never disappoints.

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Stream: “Deal with Me” – The Dead Deads

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Deal with Me - The Dead Deads

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