Dot Dash's 2011 opening salvo Spark>Flame>Ember>Ash wasn't a delight in itself, but that glaringly Anglophile-endebted LP didn't enshrine quite as many memorable compositions as their latest and truly greatest, Winter Garden Light. Dare I say this is the "feel good" post-punk album of the year? At the nucleus of WGL is a pop-centric ethos, conveyed with deftly arranged songs, illustrating Dot Dash have truly arrived as masters of the three-minute domain.
Fronted by Terry Banks, and accompanied by Swervedriver alum Danny Ingram among others, the quartet's moniker is a somewhat misleading calling card, as this quartet don't conjure up anything Colin Newman and Co. had brewing at any stage of Wire's prolific career. And while there's still a sizable nod to across-the-pond indie small-of-famers of yore, Winter Garden... zeroes in on our mates sipping from the same domestic watering hole as Velocity Girl, Springhouse and For Against. The proceedings kick off with a warm, resplendent bang by way of "Faraway" and "Countdown," which find D/D at their most melodically assertive ever. This refreshingly buoyant stride spills over into "Shouting in the Rain" and the doubly spectacular "Writing on the Wall." Hot on that song's heels, "La-La Land" sparks yet another visceral charge. Even comparatively sobering comedowns "Lateral/Vertical" and "Two Octobers," bear something resembling a silver lining. Toss in a dollop of contemplative prose all the way around into this Wintery mix, and you've shaken and stirred a cocktail with brains and charm to burn. Winter Garden Light is available from The Beautiful Music, CD Baby, iTunes, and Emusic.
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