Dot Dash - Spark>Flame>Ember>Ash (2011, The Beautiful Music) - A brief overview
The relentless volley of clangy chords and mid-fi propensity coursing through D.C.-based Dot Dash's premiere outing, Spark>Flame>Ember>Ash will ring gleefully to anyone within ear-shot who's ever had a taste for organic, Anglophile indie-pop. Opening a new chapter for alumni of Tree Fort Angst, Julie Ocean, Modest Proposal, and in the case of drummer Danny Ingram, Swervedriver (!) Dot Dash, ironically tend not to stray into the incendiary post-punk neighborhood of Wire, of whom they copped their moniker from by way of that band's jagged 1978 single of the same name. That doesn't mean that Dot Dash haven't taken a keen gaze across to the other side of the pond, evident by the hefty, walloping guitar surge of "The Color and the Sound," "Alright, Alright," and "No Reverie," rooted in the sonic aplomb of late '80s Wedding Present, and Tony Blair-era hopefuls Boyracer and Beatnik Filmstars. Ringleader Terry Banks has the vocal panache, not to mention precisely the right range to imbue Spark's fourteen selections with an integrity and spontaneity (the whole album, btw, was tracked in just three days) that bleeds through even to the most jaded of Pitchfork-addled hipsters. Too updated to be deemed a throwback, Spark>Flame>Ember>Ash exudes the stripe of revisionist dexterity and passion that many of Dot Dash's contemporaries would do well to take note off...plus it's simply a great fucking collection of nervy, angular pop tunes. Copies of Spark are available here.