Reviews:: The Dimes The Silent Generation

Are you one of those people that decided that Death Cab and the Decemberists aren't worthy of your listening time since they became popular? Are you wishing you could find the next indie version of either band to impress you friends with?

Well, look now further than the Dimes. This Portland four-piece delivers catchy pop songs - nothing more and certainly nothing less - and offer an escape from the hammered synth lines and intimate folk records we are hit with every day. Bands like DCFC and the Decemberists are obvious jump off points for describing the Dimes - especially considering the vocal similarities (in diction, delivery, tone) Johnny Clay shares with Ben Gibbard and the pension for detailed story telling narratives a la Colin Meloy - but you could say that about countless bands these days.

So why do the Dimes stand out? Well, to be honest it's probably because never once do you think the band set out to try to sound like either outfit. Nothing seems forced, and as the elastic band bass line of Letters in the Sea takes over from the acoustic line and Clay's Gibbardish gibberish (this is a term I coined to talk about lyrics that really mean nothing but sound so good and deep - it's a compliment) you kind of forget about everything and nod along.

It would be easy to start pointing out good tracks on this record (Catch Me Jumping even with the little Arcade-ish Fire vibe in the track, This Times, and the folky Emmy Divine) and talk about hand claps, gentle vocals swells and all those other words we bloggers toss out so effortlessly but it would sink this band into the hyperbole chamber and that isn't fair. I could talk about some of the songs that miss the mark (New York 1930) but that would take away from the enjoyment I got listening to the record. These guys aren't trying to change the world, they are simply trying to make you smile. And you know what? For the majority of the record they most certainly do.

NOTE:: When I was reading the liner notes, I read that Pierre Kaiser (the second guitarist and vocalist) also played Foghorn tape loops on the record. I actually thought it said Foghat tape loops and was super hyped.
MP3:: Paul Kern Can't Sleep
MP3:: This Times

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