Wednesday, 14 October 2015

DOT DASH – EARTHQUAKES AND TIDAL WAVES (The Beautiful Music CD, D/L).

A band like Dot Dash is always going to occupy the more distant edges of Thee Psychedelicatessen’s universe, being more of an Alt Rock/Post Punk band than an acid fuelled, far-out psychedelic monster……….however we like their mix of punky Power Pop and a cool Big Star vibe (plus any project that early R.E.M. producer Mitch Easter is involved in is cool in our book) and we think this is an album that deserves a mention in Strange Things. Hailing from the Washington DC area, all the members of Dot Dash have a long and impressive pedigree from their previous bands that spans from jangly Power Poppers Julie Ocean, through Shoegazers Swervedriver and Mod band Modest Proposal on to DC Hardcore legends Minor Threat and they mix these ingredients into a retro cocktail that recalls the yearning indie-pop of Sarah Records; the '80s neo-Byrds jangle of R.E.M., Orange Juice and output of Creation Records, and the tight, throbbing basslines and slashing guitars that evoke the Jam and the Clash.

Produced by the legendary Mitch Easter (and we don’t use that term lightly), Earthquakes & Tidal Waves is the bands fourth release on Canadian imprint The BeautifulMusic and compared to their earlier albums has a much more polished sound……….very 80s and very much in the vain of bands like Thin White Rope, The Replacements, The db’s and Eleventh Dream Day but with one foot still in the Punk Rock camp, staying true to their roots. There are some great tunes on this album……The album opener ‘The Winter of Discontent’ is a taught, melodic, sharp, jangly Power Pop tune and like the rest of the songs on this album it’s jam packed with hooks. The closing trackSleep, Sleep’ is possibly the best of the songs here and sounds not unlike a long lost R.E.M. recording. It’s not the most psychedelic thing we have ever heard but it’s a cool album and you will dig it if you like the wave of 60s influenced/inspired American guitar bands that burnt brightly for a while in the mid 80s. You can stream the album from the Dot Dash Bandcamp page at https://dotdashdc.bandcamp.com/album/earthquakes-tidal-waves-2 and give it a listen.

Earthquakes & Tidal Waves is available on CD from The Beautiful Music online store and the digital download is available from the band’s Bandcamp page.


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