LA.’S Dummy didn’t need too much running ground to get up to full speed. With two EPs out last year (on Popwig and Born Yesterday) the band all but launches into their debut for Trouble In Mind fully formed. While the band’s not going to escape the motorik-pop overhang of of Stereolab and Broadcast being thrust upon them, the band lands on the similarities more out of their ability to churn the same stock of influences rather than channel them directly. While the upper atmposhere vocals of Emma Maatman can certainly land in Lætitia Sadier territory, skip a few moments later and the band is ingesting Adorable’s amp fuzz and pushing through Chapterhouse flood waters, melding insistent propulsion to a wall of grey-wave shoegaze mind foam. With the fried electric wires of Silver Apples and the synthesis wing of the German Progressive legacy driving their motor in tandem, the band even manages to graft the cosmic calm of Cluster and Göttsching onto a few of their aural chemical peels.
Now that sound map of influences and hot-glued history only gets you so far without the ability to wield it into something potent, and the band succeeds in not only recalling the past but putting their whirlpool of ‘90s noise pop to good use. While creating a numbing cocoon for their blunt truths, the band lets their laser-guided tempest land on the realities of environmental collapse, the voracious jaws of the capitalist woodchipper, the bombardment of modern life and the absolutely overwhelming task of facing them each and every morning on through the fingertip numbing doom-scroll that finally leads us to an uneasy sleep. The kind of neural gauze that the band creates is what we all need to blot out the barrage every once in a while. The album isn’t an escape, but its at least a layer of 90SPF slather to armor up for a walk out into the world each morning.
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