MondoTunes [Release date 15.01.14]
Dome Dwellers are an indie rock trio from Denton,Texas, with art rock elements and free form pretensions.
The band is very much the sum of its idiosyncratic parts, as all three players spiral into different directions to colour sparsely arranged tracks with their intermeshed sounds.
Principal songwriter Michael J. Slack appears happiest when slipping back and forth between hurried lead and rhythm guitar parts, while Cullen Dean provides the melodic west coast bass runs. David Gore’s crisp percussive work glues it all together, as the vibrant trio contrive to take the songs to the outer limit before gracefully returning to base.
Their music is shot through with timeless quiet-to-loud dynamics on which the emphasis is on snappy, edgy rhythms, topped by harmony filled vocals.
‘Maybe I Should Have Some Pride’ certainly forges its own path on 8 tracks that restlessly strike out in several directions, with fast changing time signatures and stop-start rhythms that the gives the coherent composite its edge.
The band embraces the art rock elements of Talking Heads and the poppy coherence of Spoon and any number of alt. indie band influences. Ultimately the Dome Dwellers seem happiest working within a deconstructed D.I.Y. rock ethic that eschews conventional solos and relies on intricate interplay and fast changing rhythms that barely give you time to catch your breath.
‘Carnivores’ for example, has a push and pull feel on which David Gore’s bursts of compressed drum rolls and Michael J. Slack’s trebly guitar runs add little pockets of tension that fade into the enveloping electronically distorted outro.
It’s nicely juxtaposed by the phased and funky intro of ‘My Halo’, which after a staccato break is driven on by a luscious bass into something different again, on a track bursting with as much vitality as variety. It’s a suitably boisterous finish to an album that somehow fuses dense songs within sparse arrangements.
The band’s exploratory style is rooted in the up tempo, post-punk pop of the opening track ‘Lie’ Down’, as they glide through the catchy pop and shifting dynamics of ‘Bellied Up’, before Michael reaches for falsetto on the vocal line of ‘Polymath’.
The aptly titled ‘Song Of Self Assurance’ does indeed ooze confidence, as a voice collage floats over a drum work out, before giving way to a spindly guitar motif with crisp cymbal work, leading to a tension busting wig out.
Much like the album as a whole, it’s a piece of music that refuses to sit comfortably in one particular genre, and confirms the band’s fierce independent spirit. ***
Review by Pete Feenstra
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