Death First is a hardcore/punk band from Brooklyn that holds a mostly d-beat sound in their style; though contrasted with some urgent, shouted female vocals. Due to the vocals, I can't help but compare this to I Object, as the vocal delivery and cadence is very similar. The guitar is very bright and up front in the mix here. It's a little different from the darker, sludgy sound you usually here in this genre. At times the drums get a little buried, but the overall feel and tempo is maintained.
Lyrically, Death First stays in the social and political realm, but with a very straight forward style. There's no abstraction or psuedo-academic resolve to these words. They are straight forward and honest about what they observe. "Fuck Your Art" is a simple, yet concise evaluation of the state of the punk scene today. "Country Bleeds" seems to be a commentary on the contrast between the pre and post 9/11 condition in the United States. "Scratch the Surface" (not a Sick of It All cover) begins with a change of pace. Clean guitar builds the band into a mid tempo ring out of melodic chords. It's done well and transitions into the classic crust sound with no awkward stops.
I've had a chance to see Death First a number of times and I feel this recording translates the band's live sound very well. There's a rawness and intensity to it that makes the bright guitar sound work. All and all, not a bad record.
Listen to it here.