Kurt Vile & the Violators
Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN - 5/12
American Radass (this is important)
Written by: DR on 29/10/2012 23:00:07
Inspired by the original emo/indie movement of the 90s, the revival scene of recent years has grown from a mere bubbling to a seeming explosion of jangling guitar-work and passionate vocals, as there have been more and more releases of this ilk with each passing month - so much so that I'm struggling to keep up with them. There's no denying that this scene is popular right now, and the quality of releases currently being thrown out in the scene at the moment is incredibly enthralling.
If you're 'into' emo/indie then the debut full-length of Dads will not disappoint you. The first release of theirs we covered, "Brush Your Teeth ;)", was an impressive four-song slice of twinkling guitars, intricate drumming, and infectious dual vocal-work. Despite the band only consisting of two members, one of the stand out factors of that release was the sheer technicality and speed of instrumentation. Their debut full-length, "American Radass (this is important)", carries this over and will satisfy all your 'twinkle' needs, with efforts such as "Bakefast at Piffany's" and "Aww, C'mon Guyz" being the most refined and irresistible efforts of the genre since the last Algernon Cadwallader release. However, though the record is dominated by these short and sweet cuts, Dads have noticeably increased their song-writing scope and now have more of a softer, melodic side than you may not have expected.
At the beginning, middle and end there are slower, more thought-out efforts punctuating the faster ones that add to the overall spotless pacing of the record. The opener, "If Your Song Title Has The Word 'Beach' In It, I’m Not Listening to It", is poignant and uplifting, even ambient and textured in vein of The Appleseed Cast. Closer "Heavy to the Touch (think about tonight, forget about tomorrow)" combines their softer side with introspective lyrics and loud instrumental swells to good effect, while their epic "Shit Twins", at the centre of the record, is probably the best song the band have written to date. In it, their song-writing ability really shines when given extra space to breathe over the course of seven minutes, while the instrumental transitions from quiet to loud are absolutely gorgeous.
Whether it's with their oddly sweet confessions like "Love is bleaching bed-sheets because we could never wait", or their rallying against the barriers of pretension and elitism with "Don’t try to tell me what punk is / or just how you envision it / if this is how you will stay / then your 'scene' will have a division in it", the lyrics always have an endearing sense of catharsis. Ultimately, Dads are an endearing band, and "American Radass (this is important)" is an endearing album. Though the cover is somewhere between goofy and awesome, and the song-titles are the most daft yet hilarious of 2012, it's all part of their charm. It's the kind of record, clearly recorded on a budget, that its creators put so much into, that every raw shout, candid lyric and fuzzy guitar riff are not only made forgivable, but part of the necessary aesthetic for music this honest and exciting.
Download: Shit Twins, Bakefast at Piffany's
For The Fans of: Algernon Cadwallader, Cap'n Jazz, Snowing
Release Date 07.08.2012
Self-Released/Flannel Gurl Records/Broken World Media
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