The James Dean Trio – Getting Scary

The James Dean Trio
Getting Scary

It has been a long time since I was fooled into thinking a band would sound different than what I had imagined based on my assumptions regarding cover art alone. The James Dean Trio had me thinking it was some warped indie-rock band by the appearance of Getting Scary. I put the disc into my CD player and, wouldn’t you know it, out came metal. Not just any metal, but super metal. JDT has a vocalist that sounds like he’s been poked with Satan’s cattle prod a few times and loved every minute of it. The band has guitars that change time signatures at the clap of Lucifer’s paws. Complex drumming compliments the whole deal and ties everything into a nice evil little package. Did I mention that, aside from being strange, the artwork is really neat to boot?

“1971: A Year in Review” starts things off with some wicked riffs that seamlessly melt into a jazz-guitar break before coming back in via a heavy chugging part. “2XL on an African Safari” blasts forward with vicious tenacity. Ripping riffage blows through the song “Smee, Get in the Boo Box,” which has one of the best song titles that I’ve heard in a while right next to track seven on this record, “You Better Axe Somebody.”

It is difficult to understand how a band could keep up this pace for the duration of most long-playing records. The James Dean Trio eliminates this problem by keeping its full length short and sweet. Getting Scary lasts little more than 20 minutes but proves that it is plenty of time to annihilate your eardrums. Guitar parts lean over the edge of sanity while power drumming and singer John Terry’s manic vocals pry the world apart at its seams.

Admittedly, I no longer enjoy this type of metal because the scene has been flooded with so many mediocre bands in the past few years. The James Dean Trio could be the exception that brings the pendulum swinging back in the right direction. Many of the newer metal/hardcore bands lack originality and depth, something that JDT seems to have in spades. By keeping its appearance brief, it has managed to sustain my interest and relieve any preconceived notions of what I thought that metalcore had become. In a genre that has become so overgrown and lackluster (except for Converge), the James Dean Trio could be the future.