When the opportunity arose to review the latest offering from Washington DC post punk outfit Dot Dash we knew straight away that this would be a perfect opportunity to sub-contract the task to a guest contributor. Dot Dash featured in our interactive world earlier in the year when their album Half-Remembered Dream was nominated as best album of 2013 in our #30yearsofindiealbums event.
Their sponsor on that day was Esther (@Myrtleleaf) and so it was to California that we headed (virtually) to ask if a she would be up for the task at hand. Not only were we delighted that Esther agreed to do the review but that she targeted the whole album rather than just the Raincoats single that was due for release.
So here is what Esther had to say about Dot Dash’s album “Earthquakes & Tidal Waves”
Dot Dash’s fourth album, Earthquakes & Tidal Waves, was released in March by Canadian indie label The Beautiful Music, run by music taste-maker Wally Salem, through whom I first discovered Dot Dash’s music on Twitter a couple of years ago.
Their songs are 2 to 3-minute blasts of a combination of power pop and post-punk pop, catchy melodies, and memorable clever lyrics. I love singer Terry Banks’ vocals that don’t compete with the music’s energy. (I don’t care for loud or indiscernible vocals, which can make or break a band for me!) Comparisons have been made to The Jam, Replacements and Husker Du, to name a few, and it’s the great production that gives their music a fresh sound (it IS famed producer Mitch Easter at the helm, after all).
The opening track Winter Of Discontent previews what’s in store for the album: generally mid-paced tempos, roaring yet melodic guitars, prominent drums, and lots of ooohs. Outstanding from start to finish, its hooks will continue to buzz in your head long after you’ve heard it. Here I’ll highlight a few favorites:
Rainclouds is an infectious song that showcases Terry’s vocal range. From the low almost gritty voice in its opening verse recalling a lost Jesus and Mary Chain song, to the soaring high vocals near the end of the song. Also, who can spot the Raspeberries’ Go All The Way opening riff? Oh so subtle, but I hear it.
Dot Dash – Rainclouds
Tatters is a beautiful song but you wouldn’t know it by the somber lyrics. There’s the memorable lyric in the chorus ‘It doesn’t matter illusions get shattered along the way, and everything’s in tatters anyway’, lots of jangly guitar and a nice key change as well.
Closing out the album is the mellow but musically cinematic Sleep, Sleep. There’s more clever and somber wordplay. The highlight for me is the beautiful bassline and dreamy keyboard solo–interlude might better describe it–in the middle of the song. Then there’s a break, more oooohs and the song finishes as quietly as it started. All this anchored with understated but effective cymbal rolls throughout. Just beautiful. Easily one of my favorite songs of theirs.
As much as I raved over this album when it came out this year, I have to remember it was their prior release in 2013, Half-Remembered Dream, that was one of my most listened to albums of that year, proving to me again how consistently good their music is. Do your ears a favor and check that one out (and remaining back catalog!) as well.
Where to find Dot Dash:
If you order through the label’s website, Wally will throw in a few goodies as well, as he loves to share good music, and one of the reasons he has one of the best indie pop labels around.
Thank you to Esther for a wonderful review.
EIO40 is not solely concerned with nostalgia. We are eager to support new music as well as up and coming artists. So watch out for further reviews of newer stuff and of course if you would like to review something yourself, you know where to find us.