Saturday, 24 September 2016

Quality Not Quantity: The Dustaphonics - Oh Pep!

The Dustaphonics - You Don't Love Me Anymore.

Background promo - The Dustaphonics: London 'party beat' rockers reanimate with "Johnny & Bo" - new album release. Kingaling and Dirty Water Records present the fourth album from London Town’s R&B surf-rock’n’roll combo, The Dustaphonics. Like it's predecessors (Burlesque Queen, Party Girl & Big Smoke), this record is a fine mix of soul slamming, popped out powered, garage rock rave-ups, all fine tweaked by producer DJ Healer Selecta.

The title song is a tribute to two inspirational legends, Bo Diddley and Johnny Ramone, whose unique guitar styles influenced zillions of rockers the world over. Also included is an ode to the band's dear friend and fan Tura Satana, actress best known from her high-kicking jinks in Russ Meyer’s cult Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! - who sadly passed shortly after the first single of The Dustaphonics, which she also co-wrote.

The album boasts the uber-catchy “You Don’t Love Me Anymore," an uptempo garage punk version with one foot in 1966 Texas, the other in 1977 London, and a high octane R’n’B version complete with a honking horn section. If pounding surf is your thing, “Listen To Showman Twang” will have you hanging 10 with your toes on the nose. If groove is your move, you will need to shake your “thang” to the New Orleans funk of “Q Sounds Groove”.

“Dreams on Screen (Dolce Vita Dream)” is a laid back slice of perfect cinematic pop; ideal for kicking back with a ”Cachaça” cocktail on a beach somewhere.The band reinvent a slinky version of Billy Gales/Ike Turner’s “I’m Hurting which will tug at the ol' heart strings.

And as if that wasn’t enough of a marvellous melange of musical mayhem, everything draws to crashing crescendo with a breathtaking run-through of The Specials’ classic “Gangsters”, rearranged with a breaking, bad ass surf edge. The closing track “Love Jinx” is a top notch instrumental “Hammond” garage mod-rocker, perfect for a ride on Sunset Boulevard. With fantastic artwork by Tony Diavolo, Johnny & Bo” is a de-luxe lexicon of top quality R’n’B-based music styles that will shake up your party house all night long! Tour dates and more here.

'You Don't Love Me Anymore' is a mixture of chunky riff's and hot urgent vocals. Raw and spicy garage meets surf rock, and is dispensed with style and passion. As a taste of the album, this hits the spot.


Oh Pep! - Bushwick.

Background - Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs met in music secondary school in Melbourne, Australia, drawn together by a shared love of songs with no boundaries or expectations. The duo, now both 24, have since unveiled three EPs, but it’s their debut album, Stadium Cake, that truly showcases Hally and Emmerichs’ uniquely compelling collaboration.

Hally and Emmerichs decamped to Halifax, Nova Scotia to record with producer Daniel Ledwell. After initially meeting Ledwell in early 2015 and recording two tracks with him for their Living EP, Oh Pep! felt that he had the right sensibility to carry these new album songs through the recording process. The band spent their August in Ledwell’s studio, and celebrated the culmination of the recording by swimming across Lake Echo, which neighbors the studio.

Stadium Cake marks the first time Oh Pep! recorded with a multi-track approach rather than recording live. They wanted to be completely open to new ideas and approaches, and to not confine themselves to preset conceptions of how the music should be made. “Doctor Doctor,” the album’s first single, is a pop song with elements of the unexpected, revealing the band’s interest in experimental and occasionally dissonant melodies as Hally sings “Where is the light, for me it's the darkest night.” A sense of light and dark stitches together the tapestry of Stadium Cake, continually bringing a sense of tension to each song. It's heard in the texture of “Tea, Milk and Honey,” as Hally sings with sparse accompaniment before the delayed entry of the band. That tension can also be heard in the jarring time changes of Emmerich's line in “The Situation” and “7 Babies.”

Oh Pep! has been bringing their recordings to the stage for years, first trekking around Australia and then touring internationally since early 2015. They’ve performed at CMJ, SXSW and Nashville’s Americana Music Festival, and for Seattle’s KEXP and NPR’s Tiny Desk. KCRW named Oh Pep! an artist who 'won' CMJ and NPR's Bob Boilen proclaimed that “the Melbourne band’s music is infectious. Their harmonies are sweet, with lyrics that are thoughtful, deep, funny and poetic.” In 2016, Oh Pep! will tour Europe for the first time supporting Lake Street Dive, and in North America with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and Lord Huron before making a triumphant return to Australia later in the year. Tour dates here, including a London show at The Lexington on Friday 28th October.

This is a fine song. 'Bushwick' resonates with pop and rock sensibilities, and with tasteful vocals and a super fine musical accompaniment, my first reaction was to go and search for more of their music.


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