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.
The Dream Syndicate "The Day Before Wine And Roses" 1982 - As the punning title indicates, this welcome document of an early Dream Syndicate show, recorded live-in-studio for Los Angeles' KPFK station in 1982, capt...
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