They are not out to shock, break boundaries or draw attention in any way other than by creating powerful music and hoping to find others who can feel it. Even still, with their casual amalgam of styles --hard rock drums, new wave guitars, indie-pop bass and vocals-- and inconsonant influences ranging from The Pixies to Echo and The Bunnymen to Slayer, it's as if reinvention is something they can't help. Yet the difficulty of accurately describing their sound conjures up a hypothesis far more experimental than the reality. Lyrically and musically, they're straight-ahead rock in many ways, and focused primarily on a single moment-that is, the moment of enormous possibility contained in coming together to play music. Scratch the surface of band's undercurrents and you'll find enough intrigue and plot twists to fill a season-long behind-the-scenes documentary - forbidden romance, bitterness and it's aftermath, misunderstandings, alcohol-corroded evenings, heartache, exhilaration, and faith. Yet for the most part scandal is hidden, perhaps, by a refusal to match lyrics with melodies, a method by which Federman invites you to consider an expansive and mercurial subtext beyond the obvious one. The resounding opening of the pop anthem 'Ithaca' - "Any day" nearly yelled out over an instantly engaging riff - sounds like it's about to promise something great, but proceeds to launch into "We could all just fall apart,' and then, the real zinger, 'Pull out your shiny splinters, throw away your cut-out paper hearts." The song is intimate and even personally sympathetic to the offender ("In the poisoned years receding, no one there to hold you up") yet it captures both the arbitrariness and the pain of being on the receiving end. The exhilarating final six measures reinforce what the best rock music has always taught, that feelings set to music - no matter what the feelings - can be pure euphoria. In the sad and lovely "Contenders" (referencing the famous Brando movie about a waterfront just a mile or so from their studio), the would-be contender appears to be the band's muse - one that both haunts and inspires. It is one of many songs that reflect on losing perspective, in this case, losing sight of "what seemed right, what seemed to matter, the noises around us were loud and scattered." In the emo-inspired "Return to Guatemala" where Federman apparently sings to a wanderer about the seductive fantasy his unusual life stirs up, sometimes-bassist Jonathan Salem sings an overlapping chorus about "disappointing people in disappointing times," unafraid to admit how the glamour of constant motion can obscure the desire to flee. As in many of Dimestore's songs, one feels the greatest groundswell of unlimited possibility at the moment of final, true insight into it's limits. 'Return' breaks into a surging bridge with lyrics "We're losing power," that once again refuse to comply with music which is palpably gaining it. Three quarters of the way through the powerful and wrenching "Laila," edgy, retro guitars and a pulsing, haunting bass line give way to a starry, carnivalesque four measures over which Federman belts out "We've got guitars to play, highways to ride and lots of room." They're the only hopeful lines in the entire song, the simplest and possibly least poetic, but they're the loudest, and they reverberate. No matter how dark the terrain, one feels that Dimestore is hopeful, grateful for the guitars to play and the room. "Vocals are alternately sweet and powerful...Kickoff track Laila has a definite Belly-esque, Pixie-ish vibe...Descent dips productively into the harder indie rock well...the band has been through a bunch of personnel changes, but several years ago, Time Out New York wrote that Dimestore Scenario 'sometimes reinvents pop.'" The Gowanus Lounge "Somewhere between the tree-lined streets of Park Slope and the end-of-the-world banks of the Gowanus Canal. . .Dimestore Scenario found their sound." Park Slope Courier.
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