An American band by the name of Dot Dash emailed me and said:
“We wanted to send you a couple of MP3s and Soundcloud links to some new songs of ours (if you want to post/give away any – or all – of them on Peter’s Power Pop, we’d be all for it.)”
A magnanimous band. Yay!
Okey dokey. I had a listen to the songs (which are all from the band’s 2011 album, Spark>Flame>Ember>Ash) and ended up with mixed feelings.
I’ll do what I usually do: play you the tracks I received, and provide my standard fatuous comments.
But the very short version of this post is:
I like the songs, but not all of the performances.
And now for the gruesome details:
“I’m Going Home”
This is the first track I heard. I enjoyed the song – courtesy of the vocal melody and chord choices – but found it difficult to listen to the vocals. (I winced quite a few times.) But I did think the song itself was enjoyable. Incidentally, the opening chord melody reminded me of the chords used in the chorus of The Searchers’ “Needles And Pins”. Also incidentally, the vocal timbre (i.e., sound of the voice) in this song reminds me of an Australian singer, but I can’t for the life of me figure out who. Grrr.
I found this an enjoyable song, too, and with the bonus of a better vocal performance. (Thank you, singin’ person.) But as with the first track, I found the production a little anaemic.
(Linguistic Sidenote: Do Americans spell anaemic “anemic” nowadays by getting rid of that second “a”? Is my spelling of “anaemic” correct anyway? Is it one of those words with that weird grapheme thing, like “encyclopædia”? Hang on, I’ll just go and check the Internet… Yep, people in the land of Americans do away with that second “a” and spell it “anemic“. It was originally “anæmic” but that’s apparently still used occasionally – probably by academics and pedants. “Anaemic” is apparently OK, too, which is handy because it’s easier to type. Jeepers, three different spellings of one word. Boy oh boy, this thing called the English language sure is bizarre.)
“There And Back Again Lane”
This was the third song I heard, and it’s my favourite by far. One thing I liked about this track was that the start of it reminded me of the opening guitar part of “Long Call Woman In A Black Dress” by The Hollies. I love that song.
(Sidenote involving Song Title: I’m not entirely sure why the band called this song “There And Back Again Lane”. Considering how often they sing the words “alright, alright” in this song, I’d prefer it to be called “Alright, Alright” – but I guess that title was already taken.)
I liked this one as much as the first two. But I just noticed that as I kept listening to those four songs, the vocals started bothering me less. I suppose I’m getting used to them. (Although I still wince with some of the vocals in “I’m Going Home”.)
And that’s my experience with Dot Dash. You may not be bothered at all by the singing, or the production, or anything else that I found “grrr”-worthy. As American folk like to say: your mileage may vary. (Which, in Australia, is a nonsensical phrase, because we’ve been metric since 1970. I certainly don’t hear anyone say “Your kilometerage may vary.”)