Donning his signature mask, dropping bulletproof bars over rock-powered beats, and firing off hypnotic hooks, the Los Angeles-born and Portland-based singer, rapper, and producer vies for sonic immortality with these 14 big and bold bangers. For him, they represent the next natural step from his 2012 breakthrough Nine Lives.
“This is the sequel to my debut,” he exclaims. “When you have nine lives, you can’t die. You’re Invincible. I want this music to live forever.”
He’s done everything to ensure that it will. After founding, fronting, and fueling Hollywood Undead and the group’s platinum-certified debut Swan Songs, DEUCE emerged as a prolific presence of his own on Nine Lives. His first solo outing impressively sold over 100K copies to date and spawned the smash ‘America’ — which closed out 2012 as the “year’s #2 biggest-selling rock track” and generated over 9.5 million YouTube/VEVO views and 6.2 million Spotify streams. Moreover, Loudwire recognized him as “New Artist of the Year” in 2013 as he relentlessly toured alongside everyone from Shinedown to Kottonmouth Kings and appeared on festivals such as Rock on the Range. A sought-after collaborator, From Ashes to New tapped his talents for ‘The Last Time’ during 2016. Along the way, he quietly worked on what would become ‘Invincible’ between Los Angeles and Portland, collaborating closely with guitarist James Kloeppel.
“The emotion is different in L.A. and Portland,” he says. “That carries through the songs. The material we did in L.A. was a little angrier. In Portland, it got more mellow and hip-hop. I think you can hear the difference. This was also the first time I worked with James [Kloeppel] in the studio. He brought that rock side.”
Fittingly, DEUCE heralds his return with the opening salvo ‘Here I Come’. Over eerie keys and a chugging guitar, he spits pure fire on the verses before serving up an unshakable hook, “Until I die, I’m never fucking done.”
“It’s meant to be a fun hip-hop track for the club that you can dance to,” he goes on. “The beat and the hook are dope, so let all of your angst out and move.”
Elsewhere, ‘Bitch This Is It’ tempers schizophrenic classically-infused soundscapes with deft lyricism and a groove-laden hook. “I’m straight talking shit on that one,” explains DEUCE. “I just wanted to go at everyone.”
Meanwhile, ‘World On Fire’ showcases a creative leap in his songwriting. It begins with a bristle of acoustic guitar before spiraling into his most anthemic chorus yet.
“It’s a story about the end of the world and all of the positive things that will happen even in the face of something bad,” he elaborates. “It’s a positive idea about life after death. You still go on. Musically, it shows how things changed for us up in Portland. That’s melodic classic rock mixed with rap.”
“When people have this, I just want them to get up and have a good time,” he leaves off. “I hope it can inspire something like that.”
Ultimately, the new DEUCE album lives up to the title Invincible.