Wednesday, September 26, 2012

REVIEW: Dot Dash - Winter Garden Light

It is quite common to complain that Washington, D.C. is a constant purveyor of misery to the rest of the country (and much of the rest of the planet), particularly during an election year.  Well, I'm here to tell you that this fall DC has given music fans one of the best power pop albums of the year.  Winter Garden Light, the second LP from Dot Dash, delivers punk pace, a bonus quantity of pop hooks, assured vocals and anthemic choruses.  Listen to the second track while continuing to read:

The band's 2011 release, Spark>Flame>Ember>Ash, was indeed a promising debut.  However, not only does Winter Garden Light avoid a sophomore slump, it is, in my view, a markedly better album.  The guitars and vocals are better, the songwriting is tighter, and the production sanded off the rough edges without straying into glossiness.

You'll hear elements of punk and britpop, but this album isn't an imitation of anyone; the influences are just ideas, then the talent takes over.  It is a ten-track locomotive that gathers steam for a bit more that a half hour and leaves you wanting to press the replay button.

Dot Dash is Terry Banks (vocals and guitar), Bill Crandall (guitar), Hunter Bennett (bass), and Danny Ingram (drums).  They are alums of various bands, including Julie Ocean, Modest Proposal and Swervedriver.  The CD can be ordered from the label, The Beautiful Music (link below) if your local store doesn't have it.  If you like buying on line, you should note that the album is available at the Bandcamp link below for $7.  This, indeed, is one of the bargains of this election season.

So, do you watch presidential debates or listen to Winter Garden Light loud?  The choice seems clear; the links are below.

The Beautiful Music

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