Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver’

Dumb

Vancouver’s Dumb pull out their deep stack of ‘70s art-punk LPs and mash the best bits together for an album that’s brief but barbed. They plow through the heartpound pop of Wire and the wrinkled hooks of Magazine. They chew the same glass that feeds The Fall, Pere Ubu and early Alternative TV. As many are likely quick to point out, for a band called Dumb, they’re hardly lobbing lager-soaked odes draped in pop punk here. While its hardly easy listening, its plenty catchy and like fellow 2018 angular aficionados Lithics and School Damage the band knows just which pieces of the past still draw blood in the present. They capture the spirit of ’79 ably, though they often aim to emulate more often than elevate. There are moments when they do push the needled forward, smashing an ‘80s Midwest brashness into the vocals of “Party Whip” and giving pause when the sound of chimes ripples through the racket or giving the art crowd some sunshine shake with handclaps on “Ripesnakes.”

On Seeing Green they fuel the need to contort the soul, to break it, bend it, and smash it down on the crooked angles of their guitar lines. There’s unrest inherent in their lyrics, but also the kind of wry smile that would have made their influences proud. It’s a solid record, well versed and subtly catchy. The band trade less in earworms and more in a kind of can’t get that sound taste out of your mouth type of addictiveness. They’re young, and this is all the more impressive for their age and general tenure as a band. They’re aided in their vision by the lacerating production from Jordan Koop, which gives the LP an immediacy that paces their frantic stop-start whiplash. There’s a feeling as the album runs its course that this might only be the beginning, a wild knife slice that’ll settle into some methodical strikes as time wears on for the band. Whether or not they springboard off of the sound they’ve curated on Seeing Green, they’ve left a decent mark with this one.



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Spectres – “Strange Weather”

Moving into a lusher headpsace than on previous LPs, Vancouver’s Spectres are nailing a classic post-punk sound that seems slotted nicely between The Sound’s “Heyday” and early Cure singles. “Strange Weather” is built around on the urgent beat set down by drummer Mitch Allen and carves its way from there. Cavern echoed vocals bounce like hazy dreams and the band nails the crunch of guitar that’s pulled from the tail end of glam and crushed like glass until it gets that panic and pomp that defined the early ’80s post-punk elite. Spectres are definitely echoing a time long gone, but as hordes of bands have proven, never forgotten; and while it seems that at times they’re parading in another era’s eyeliner, they’re making it look damn good and sound even better. Seems this LP has been in the works for a while and hit a few snags but its finally making its way to the world in May.



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