No son estos buenos tiempos para el Power-Pop si hablamos del género en lo que a repercusión mediática y a lo que publicaciones se refiere. Si la semana pasada lo mencionábamos al hablar del último álbum de Red Kross, al comentaros algo del segundo álbum de Dot Dash, he de hacer el mismo comentario. Evidentemente, aunque a nivel masivo el Power-Pop no es de los géneros más consumidos en la actualidad, de vez en cuando surgen buenos ejemplos como éste. Dot Dash son unos veteranos de Washington curtidos en mil batallas (Julie Ocean, The Saturday People, Youth Brigade, Modest Proposal…) sin ninguna gana de aparcar la música ni mucho menos su devoción por este tipo de sonidos. Aunque sus raíces haya que buscarlas en posiciones más Post-Punk, Dot Dash realiza una suerte de Punk-Pop más melódico que otra cosa, con claras afinidades cercanas al Power-Pop. No sería difícil rastrear huellas de gentes como The Buzzcocks, The Times, Television Personalities…
En cualquier caso, con este Winter garden light (2012), y con temas como Countdown, Writing on the wall, Shouting in the rain, The past another country los de Washingtown se posicionan en el alicaído panorama del Power-Pop.
“When I first stumbled upon DC’s Dot Dash, I had the impression that the group was aiming follow in the footsteps of their namesake, which might have been true on the first record. But, with Winter Garden Light, the group has altered their sound, creating a warmer collage of pop tunes infused with melody and excellent guitar sounds.
From the instant that “Faraway” blasts through your stereo you can see that the softer side of Dot Dash is about to break through. Terry Banks’ vocals have a softer tone on this opener, and the guitars seem to have a brighter quality in comparison to the earlier work of the group. But, at times you can still hear the jagged edge of the band in their sound, fueled by the buzzsaw guitars near the end of the song. At first, I had to alter my perception of the group, but after the opener, “Countdown” sold me on the group’s progress. Light backing vocals add some emphasis to Banks’ voice, which soars during the chorus. I feel as if there’s an Oceanic vibe in the guitars, and once it’s combined with the group’s pop leanings, it comes close to perfection.
One of the songs that really sticks out on Winter Garden Light is “Live to Tell.” Beginning with a sort of spoken word atop minimal percussion and faint guitars, it then jumps into a swirling bit of guitar that captures you emotionally as Terry moves into his singing stance. But, what I really like is how the band juxtaposed this track in the sequencing with “The Past Is Another Country,” which is one of the heavier hitters on the record. While there’s a punk rock urgency to this number, it still holds some semblance to great pop writing, especially in the vocal approach. Together, these two tracks are a perfect one-two punch that demonstrates the bands abilities to go back and forth between traditional indie rock and lofty pop.
Personally, when listening to Dot Dash I like the element of restraint they’ve shown in their songwriting. Amidst today’s musical landscape, they somehow manage to hold back on just filling your ears with walls of controlled feedback on the guitars. You can see hints of all-things-gaze in tracks like “Lateral/Vertical” or even “Two Octobers,” but they hold it down in the mix, which really allows for the other elements to push through. Using such techniques shows me that they’re not aiming to be just another band behind Pains of Being Pure at Heart, but rather a group with their own definitive sound, albeit one you can trace back through various lineage.
At the end of the day, I’m happy to have stumbled upon Dot Dash, as they have proved to me that they’re a group with their own distinctive voice. It’s great to have influences, and even to wear them on your sleeve, but when you make it your own, that’s when you’ve proved your mettle. In my eyes, Winter Garden Light is just that sort of record, giving you glints at the band’s record collection, but begging you to look at them as their own entity. Consider that mission accomplished” (austintownhall.com)
Dot Dash son una banda de Washington D.C. especializada en sonidos Power-Pop pero más bien relacionados con la vena más enérgica, más en la onda de las bandas de finales de los setenta. Ese nervio y brío quedan constatados en este single titulado The color and the sound, en el que la banda liderada por Terry Banks nos reencuentra con ciertas sonoridades que nos evocan en seguida los pantalones de Tergal ajustados y las Vespas.
“When recording their debut full-length, Washington, D.C. quartet Dot Dash were working with such a tight budget they completed the entire album over the course of three afternoon sessions, none longer than five hours. This may or may not be an impressive factoid, but the compression of the creative process into as concise a form as possible gives Spark>Flame>Ember>Ash a sense of urgency and purpose that mirrors some of the strong points of the band’s biggest influences. There’s a strong mod element throughout the record. Bouncy basslines and upbeat tempos drive the songs along, and the one-or-two-takes-at-most approach to recording was such a mod staple, some bands would include the take number of each song along with the other credits in their liner notes. The fresh-faced album opener “The Color and the Sound” sets the tone for the rest of the album, as well as the pace, speeding by in a blur of scrappy guitar melodies and big beat drums. While post-mod stylings are in the forefront, there’s a foundation of punk below. Instead of the lineage of aggressive D.C. hardcore bands that defined punk in the band’s hometown, Dot Dash‘s punk roots lean toward the emotionally complex post-hardcore sound of the mid-’90s basement scene. Lead vocalist Terry Banks‘ weary-yet-wide-eyed lyrics and vocal delivery call to mind the literary punk poetry of Jawbreaker/Jets to Brazil frontman Blake Schwarzenbach, or that of fellow D.C. post-punkers Smart Went Crazy. When the guitars drop out in the breakdown of “That Was Now, This Is Then,” Dot Dash capture the carefree energy of the Jam‘s “Boy About Town” through the gritty lens of the D.I.Y. all-ages show. This strange marriage of mod and mid-’90s indie punk styles keeps Dot Dash from being revivalists of either. The group’s lineup is a veritable family tree of longtime players. The circular guitar jangle of “Seconds in a Day” recalls the sunny pop of Banks‘ longtime band the Saturday People, and drummer Danny Ingram, having done time in acts ranging fromStrange Boutique to Swervedriver, solidifies all the songs here with distinct personality and propulsion. Everyone having been around the block several times gives the songs onSpark>Flame>Ember>Ash the hard-to-achieve atmosphere of youthful excitement without the ham-fisted rookie mistakes that often come with it. The 14 tracks retain the bashed-out spontaneity of their recording, but a deeper level of sophistication blends them together into a bigger picture of grey-sky introspection and punk wonderment.” (allmusic.com)
Dot Dash – The color and the sound - Mp3/Free Download