Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Reviews:: Don Peris, Dirty on Purpose

Don Peris – Go When the Morning Shineth
Recently the new Don Peris album showed up in my mailbox, and I after a few listens I’m already hooked. Don is the guitarist from the Innocence Mission and his solo album on the jemez mountain imprint of badman recordings is a lush instrumental effort, with a couple of vocal tracks to keep it fresh. How can I describe the sounds Don uses on this album? I could see the instrumentals being used in a Malloy’s/Moonshine Conspiracy surf film perfectly. The first third of the album uses a relaxed pace guitar tones and atmospheric instrumentation to transport you to the beach, or a carefree summer day. The pressure of day-to-day life are forgotten when you leave the office, and that feeling is captured perfectly on tracks like Day Trip and Jubilee.

Don’s guitar sounds have a great range and contrary to a lot of instrumental works, the melodies are nicely defined, diverse and unlike a lot of instrumental artists, he does drift into the self-indulgent area and keeps the songs under three-minutes. The first change of note is the lovely cello that shares the spotlight (even stealing it at points) on the short track, Recital.

For fans of the NPR-approved Innocence Mission, the appearance of Karen’s voice on North Atlantic Sand makes this album a must have. The song sums up the Atlantic beach vacation theme Don used for this record, matching a melancholy sense of nostalgia with the peacefulness of an oceanside town. The song recharges the listener’s battery so to speak, and despite the subtle tones and hushed drums, still manages to somehow explode out of your headphones.

MP3:: Day Trip

Dirty on Purpose is a nice little outfit from Brooklyn. Where to start? Well the fuzzy guitars and beautiful horns on the opening track, No Radio on their first full length, Hallelujah Sirens are a good bet. Within 20 seconds of the first song, you are bouncing around to an upbeat number and already stuck into the record.

Unfortunately, this band is already being dubbed the next big thing, and getting favorable comparisons to bands like Ride, Yo La Tengo, Belle and Sebastian (though I will admit they do channel the band on the lovely Kill Our City) and Stereolab. Why is this bad, you ask? All of these bands are fantastic. It's bad because this band isn’t trying to copy what’s already been done (and seems predestined to be the victim of hipster scensterism). I think they are more concerned with creating a wall of melodic sound.

This four-piece is getting lumped into the shoegaze category but for a lot of this record I want to dance around, not stand in one spot like an Indie rock totem pole. As the Smashing Pumpkins-esque intro to Car No Driver starts and the drums kick in, it is hard not to start nodding along. The same can be said when the band’s vocals are enhanced by local songstress Jaymay’s vocals and some lush strings on Your Summer Dress.

The band does have its fair share of gazers, like Fake Lakes, Always Looking and Lake Effect (that at times, I have to say leave me short), but the diversity that results from having so many cooks in the song writing kitchen and the unlimited potential makes this a solid debut record (which shouldn’t surprise anyone who heard their first EP). Expect some big noise from this band.

MP3:: Light Pollution

Posted at 1:03 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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