Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Music Reviews: Dot Dash - "Winter Garden Light"

Alternative music started out as an underground style of music played heavily in college dorms and frat parties back in the early/mid 80's. Then bands like R.E.M. and The Cure broke world wide and it became an above ground thing. But in the last 15 years or so, it's gone underground again. And a lot of those bands are either not around anymore, or are not putting out music as often, and certainly not cracking the top 40 charts that are so polluted with crap like Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga (the first and LAST time those 2 douche bags will ever be mentioned here). So when a decent alternative band puts an album out I have no problem giving them a shout out.

Dot Dash have been on the scene for a couple of years now bringing their take on alternative music to the masses. Hailing from Washington, D.C. this quartet is ready to take alternative BACK into the mainstream with powerful pop sensibilities and masterful playing on the bands second album, "Winter Garden Light". The 10 tracks on this disc range from post punk Smiths worthy tunes ("La La Land") to straight up rockers ("The Past Is Another Country") played with a fire and passion that's lacking in pop music today.

Lead singer/guitarist Terry Banks has such an infectious voice that it's hard to not like this band. And the band, Bill Crandall (guitar), Hunter Bennett (bass) and Danny Ingram (drums) bring all their respected talents together to make wonderfully catchy and vibrant material worthy of any alt-music fans record collection. Lyrically, this is also a true and honest representation of a band who's happy being who they are. When Banks sings "I won't fight the good fight. I won't save it for some penny for your thoughts, my kingdom for a horse" on "Writing On The Wall" you can tell this is a man who's passion won't be compromised for some radio airplay. This is REAL alternative music at it's modern day best.

"Winter Garden Light" is one of those albums that come out under the radar, but years down the line it's regarded as a masterpiece ahead of it's time. And as much as I enjoyed the bands first album, "Spark>Flame>Ember>Ash", I think they've really grown as a musical unit with this album. The songwriting, musicianship and those beautiful harmonies are showstopping. This is a modern day classic with just as much staying power as anything R.E.M. ever did. You can check out the album and purchase the digital download on the groups Bandcamp page or order a hard copy at

4 / 5 stars

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