Reviews:: Dappled Cities Granddance

Dangerbird Records may have in fact found six smurfs, as most of the records they are boiling up are turning to gold. With the success of Silversun Pickups, the label has become a gateway for indie outfits. Despite what you might think, I’m actually ok with this, as a label you can depend on for good releases is something you should never take for granted.

The latest band to stumble into the fold and reap the benefits is the Aussie quintet Dappled Cities. With the opening slot for Modest Mouse and the MTV attention, you might be tempted to throw this band into the "next big generic indie act" category, but you’d be wrong. The quirky, jerky transitions in the songs stick in your brain and the liberal use of falsetto is reminiscent of Jonas from Mew. All in all, not a bad pairing.

It’s really hard to write about a sound that ranges from indie to arty rock without sounding like a PR machine or a music dick, but the band mixes high paced drums with a nice mix of bursts of jangled guitars and synths to form some killer melodies. Unlike other bands trying to find a unique sound, Dappled Cities remembered that even the most adventurous sounds have to be digestible. The vocals often sound like they should be delivered from a 70’s front man instead of a pair of twenty something rockers, but they fit perfectly into the sounds and textures the band seems so comfortable using.

The band moved to the LA to record Granddance, and the change in location served them well. Sure, it might just be they are maturing as a band, but instead of the heavy Pavement influence of Smile, they use a more summery sound paying homage to the Beach Boys (or in the parlance of our times – maybe the Shins or Flaming Lips) and the city they recorded in. The harmonies and simple but infectious guitar riff on the title track seem like they could have been written in the carefree, summer filled Californian 60’s, but the nice slide solo keeps the song from feeling dated. The gentle wash intro of Beach Song reminds me sitting and watching waves creep up the sand.

This record is one you are going to hear a lot of in the upcoming months. I can't imagine it will be long before these youngens are playing to big stadium audiences.

MP3:: Holy Chords
The record opens up with the strongest track, Holy Chords. The song starts out so simply, using only a nice falsetto, the occasional cymbal wash and xylophone, before eventually adding a hand-clap and keyboards. As soon as you settle in, the band switches gears into and explodes into a foot stomping, pounding rhythm. With Holy Chords, Dappled Cities does in 4-minutes what most indie rock records take 12 songs to accomplish.
Video:: Fire, Fire, Fire

@ 12:15 AM, Anonymous kicked the following game:

Brilliant album by one of the best bands in the world. I can't wait to see them finally do well for themselves. Apart from their obviously amazing music, they are genuinely lovely (and hilarious) guys as well. Noone deserves it more. Go Dappled!


@ 5:36 AM, Anonymous kicked the following game:

I don't know if it's new or old, but the DFA remix of "Fire Fire Fire" is REALLY great. Find it if you can...


@ 9:32 PM, Anonymous kicked the following game:

It's new. It's good, but I think the original is better.


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