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Who were the first punks? Do The Damned have more of a shout than The Sex Pistols? The Stooges or Ramones? Gregg Deal, the acclaimed visual and performance artist behind his new project Dead Pioneers, is making a claim that Indigenous Americans were the first real punks. 

Deal suggests that the overarching theme of the album is “an introduction to the band itself”. Created with a DIY disposition and the “love of a scene that saves lives”, they reel off a roll call of marginalised groups and protected characteristics: “Indigenous rights, Black rights, Brown rights, Asian rights, Gay rights, Trans rights, Workers rights and beyond…”. This is central to their identity and focus, saying that “with a North American Indigenous person as the vocalist, being unapologetically upfront on the social, political and cultural side of things doesn’t seem necessary, but paramount to the overall tone of the band.” 
This self-titled debut, coming in at a lithe 22 minutes with only one of the twelve tracks exceeding three minutes, is almost over before it begins, but covers a huge amount of ground in that time.  
Blistering opener ‘Tired’ sets out their stall; as with the whole album, it is passionate, but never preaching. Capitalised ‘Political Music’ can be hard to land without coming across as hectoring or earnest, but Deal’s literary, humorous lyrics effortlessly cut through complex issues of marginalisation and colonialism. 

Dead Pioneers - Dead Pioneers (Ltd Coke Bottle Green Vinyl)