Monday, June 13, 2016

Artist: Dolly Spartans

At first it sounded as if NYC's Dolly Spartans' ancestral relatives were all local ( The vocal bridge at :49 of “Don't Be Sad” could convincingly pass for post-ROSTAM Vampire Weekend. “Tell Me” at 2:45 is the Strokes, albeit of surprising Comedown Machine-vintage. But the similarities may end there. After all, continuing to listen to “Don't Be Sad” past the Ezra Koenig doppelganging, and 1:16 jumps right out into choral melodies worthy of Wavves.
But Dolly Spartans impressed me in the same way Smoking Popes did, whom I hadn't heard until I saw them live. Dude was crooning, emotive hand gestures unencumbered by guitar, until he strapped one on, shred it to shit, then put it back down. Much like the Popes, Spartans are all vocal beauty, pop songcraft, and guitar dynamics, sometimes within a single song: on “Who Are You,” vocals hitting tender highs as the song demands (at :57); a decidedly pop hook of da-da-das; and a symphony of four- and six-strings at 1:52.

With their rhythm section firmly in sync, Dolly Spartans can concentrate on the little things, convinced they add up: the interplay at 1:37 of “She's Got Treasures”; the 90s payoff chord at 3:02 of “Something on My Mind”; the dueling guitar riffs at 1:51 of “Don't Be Sad.”

They're music schoolers with an ear for pop.

*** The author of this review, Brandon Kelly, plays the dundun for the following band:

Artist: Bitchtits

Bitchtits live up to the name: Because if you're like me, and just so happen to possess the titular pejorative, you'll check your resentment just long enough to behold the introductory mashup of get-healthy-quick promos -- a promising lead in a song called "Fuck Your 'Perfection'." The song thrashes along nicely with poppy call-and-response at :55 and expressive guitar bridging at 1:12. But the hero of the song is when the mashup returns, only to be elevated with Avalanches-level melodic glitches at 2:23.
The other standout for me was "My Body (My Party)." It's partially due to the fact that dude-without-bitchtits rocks a synthesizer, not a bass. (I suppose this could be a turn-off for the dark-minded of the punk set. But surely the band's name, along with the show poster's gar/alligator/dinosaur head, gave those punkers the heads-up.) It made the band for me, though it only works since the entire band bought in. The Bitchtits EP is all pop and energy and the zany fun that comes with toying on the Moog. But with socially just content that hints at Bitchtits not having much beef with actual bitchtits. 

*** The author of this review, Allen Murray, plays the tamborita for the following band: