Halifax Pop Explosion:: Featured Artist - The Dudes

It's a good thing The Dudes are playing the Pop Explosion. Why you ask? Well because if they weren't, there is perhaps zero chance I would've checked them out. This is no fault of The Dudes, as their debut album, Brains.Heart.Guitar is about as catchy as indie rock really gets right now, so it's certainly an issue on my end, but their name brings to mind some kind of bad cover band doing doo wop songs or Stray Cats songs. But as I said, that's more on me, and there's a lesson for the kids in there: judging a band by it's name could lead to you missing out on some very catchy rock music, and nobody wants that.

It's appropriate that The Dudes have been on a big Canadian tour with the biggest band from our smallest province, Two Hours Traffic, because like almost all the songs on Little Jabs (Nighthawks, Stuck For The Summer, Heroes Of The Sidewalk, Jezebel, Backseat Sweetheart), The Dudes make the kind of songs that rattle around your brain for quite some time after you hear them. Not sure it sounds like one, but I do mean that as a compliment.

The Dudes strike me to be an outfit that knows what they're good at, and so that's what they do. The lead singer (Dan, Bob, Jon and Scott? My 5 minutes of thourough research has not clued me in as to who does what) has a very likeable voice and they put it to good use with uptempo songs filled with tales of love, sex and breakups. And they do it all with a bit of a sly grin - if you're looking for weepy emo tunes, you'd better find some other, ahhhh, dudes. I mean one of the most "serious" songs on the album is Don't Talk, which basically describes a dude having issues with his marital relations because his lady keeps talking when he's trying to go for his. Now that's a fairly serious problem, but it isn't a matter of life and death. That's The Dudes style though, as I get the feeling that even when they're dealing with the visceral anger of breakups like The Fight and the jovially named Cup Of Blood, you still get the feeling they're relishing it a bit.

After all, why would they be angry about anything? They're from Calgary, a town where money flows like wine from an overturned box of Hochtaler. So their strength is on catchy guitar rockers like the openning quartet of They're A Comin', Do The Right Thing, Mendoza Line (Whoa Caroline), and Dropkick Queen Of The Weekend. Do The Right Thing is like the aforementioned Stuck For The Summer, a catchy guitar strumming affair that I wish I'd heard earlier in the summer as it's perfect listening for the sunshine. It also starts with "My bedroom's worse then the Catholic church, I let anyone in", which makes me smile every time I hear it, even though I don't exactly know what it means. I kind of thought most churches would let anyone in? Although I suppose that Latvian Orthodox church that Costanza tried to join was kind of exclusive, so who knows. Anyway, it's a great opener.

Dropkick Queen Of The Weekend bounces along on a hyper baseline and is probably the catchiest song about a maneater, since I don't know, Maneater. And yes, i mean the Hall & Oates Maneater, of course. The album closer, Good Intensions, also deserves a mention as it shows The Dudes can do a fine acoustic tune if they so choose.

Pretty sure I've said enough already, so let's recap: The Dudes play some mighty catchy rock music, and you can catch them at the Halifax Pop Explosion on October 18th at the Attic with Two Hours Traffic.

MP3:: The Dudes - Do The Right Thing

MP3:: The Dudes - Dropkick Queen Of The Weekend

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