Punk Online

DEAD END DRIVE-IN – ‘Mea Culpa’ Album Review


Dead End Drive-InDead End Drive-In is a punk rock five-piece from Vancouver, Canada. Formed in 2014 by Matt Earle (vocals/guitar), Angus Lee (guitar/vocals) and Sam Hawkins (bass), the band brought on Brandon Speight (guitar/vocals) and Joel Panas (drums) to flesh out their sound.

After a few releases, the band embarked upon a tour of Western Canada in the summer of 2017and the two week trip was enough to convince them that there was an audience out there for the taking.

They have just released their first full-length album, Mea Culpa, and they will follow a hometown release party gig with a tour of the Western US.

The album opens with the lengthy and melodic, The Music I Can’t Hear and the soaring vocals sit neatly on top of some truly chunky, wall of sound punk rock foundation. The excellent lead vocals are forward in the mix on Apathy Kills Again where the band channel The Replacements and maybe even Gaslight Anthem in their approach. All of the tracks are lengthy with most over four minutes or close to that and this gives the band room to explore some excellent segments of guitar work as they do on Echo Chamber, a Stiff Little Fingers sounding anthem whereas Saturated Sponge carries an insistent beat, soft/loud juxtapositions, some excellent guitar riffs/licks and some darn good lyrics!!!

At the half-way point, Floodgate features a soaring group vocal, mid-paced power-ballad and some cascading/swirling riffs before A Stranger Kind mines the rich seam of punk/folk/Americana further before some huge power chords set up faster pace for what is, in many aspects, the title song of the album. The relatively short (sub-three minute) power-pop-punk rocker, Dominant Male Monkey Motherfucker packs a solid punch and Tomorrow’s Idiot is a mid-paced anthem dripping with melody.

The penultimate song, Bus, continues to explore the punk/pop/Americana intersections with some super musicianship and sets up the scintillating closer, Chameleon with its melodic guitar licks, plaintive and personal vocals and a circle-pit inducing beat replete with serrated riffs – it is anthemic and it is excellent!!!


Mea Culpa  by Dead End Drive-In is available to download and stream at the following links: –

Bandcamp: https://deadenddrive-in.bandcamp.com/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0of0IMYH2fPpNPJcboDAdp