The Mellow Dees Take a Stab at Punk in Propulsive New Single

The Mellow Dees continue their streak of unpredictability with their decidedly belligerent new offering.

I’m an album kind of guy. This whole advance-singles business has always been iffy to me. But as a music sleuth it does pique my fancy.

To my mind, pre-album releases serve as cookie crumbs that lead to the evil witch’s house.

If the band is a spirited devotee of a genre or form, you can bet the crumbs line up perfectly: a dead-giveaway trail even the dourest amateur detective would figure out instantly.

That trail isn’t so easy to track, in a manner of speaking, for supergroup The Mellow Dees. Debuting with a baroque-kundiman hybrid (“Lamán”), they then tried their hand at pop-punk by way of sing-song New Wave (“Runnin’”).

I’m happy to share that streak of unpredictability stays with today’s outing: the decidedly belligerent “Amber Alert.” To paraphrase the band’s self-assessment, it’s Pat Benatar-brand rock crossed with the propulsive rhythms of Yano’s “Tsinelas.”

Cover Art by Anjelo Alonte

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If that isn’t a random cross-pollination of otherwise incompatible nuts and bolts, I don’t know what is. But as for this writer, it’s another curious case of warring styles triumphing over apparent incongruencies.

Despite her dream-pop pedigree, for instance, singer Melody del Mundo displays a newfound vigor that, I would hazard a guess, perhaps wasn’t absent in her old work, but was kept latent because the canvas was inconsistent with the paint (if that makes sense).

Guitar whiz Nievera, in a similar fashion, sheds his blues-lick-churning skin for something more visceral, more emotive, more urgent.

Drummer Wolf Gemora isn’t entirely out of his element here, and while he isn’t typically associated with gothic-imbued punk drivers, his signature revved-up cadence is a glass-sandal fit here.

All photos by Raymond Lacsamana

The Mellow Dees’ new track is an impressionistic rhapsody on greed and narcissism, and if you think it rings out like hollow vitriol, that’s probably by design. I mean, composure in verbiage—and for that matter, texture and arrangement—isn’t the defining quality of punk rock.

Curiously, “Amber Alert” is the English reimagining of a still-forthcoming companion single. I can already hear it in my mind’s ear, and I know the sharp phonemes of the mother tongue will probably give it a raunchier edge, but—given how these guys are as unpredictable as unpredictable gets—I won’t hold my breath.

“It’s a total break from our other songs [because] it’s closer to punk,” the band shares with internal label publicity. “We are getting closer to the album launch and we’re very excited!”

Listen to “Amber Alert” today.

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