One glance at the album cover and you might assume this Oakland trio play beardy indie rock. Instead, Dealer make a racket that approximates what shooting flaming arrows into a minefield hosting a demolition derby would sound like.
Think Black Flag meets Melvins meets Die Kreuzen meets the early works of Quicksand, Helmet and Rollins Band. Grating angular noise is their bread and butter, though valiant efforts are made to sculpt the din into fierce blasts with recognisable melodies and inventive chord structures. Stone Freak illustrates the gravitation from sounding like a caveman about to club your kneecaps into jelly to effective swirling and dynamic noise rock, whereas opener AM Gold rips and tears like a bunch of math professors diving into Steve Albini’s discography. Sometimes the diversity suffers when the easy way is taken as riffs are repeated then palm-muted ad nausea. The scratchy vocal howl is an acquired taste, too, but there are endearing positives at work here.