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Monday, 20 August 2018

Dot Dash - Proto Retro

I'm a Dot Dash admirer and they certainly are prolific. This is Album Number 6 in just 7 years and it's an absolute corker. In my review of the previous album, Searchlights, here, I remarked that it seemed a move away from their Garage Rock roots to a slightly noisy New Wave Power Pop. That direction has become far more apparent.

Now a trio, the Washington DC band, have edged nearer and nearer to a Power Pop Trio. Proto Retro has far more in common with The dB's or even more relevant, the Glasgow scene of Teenage Fanclub and BMX Bandits.

There's a real emphasis on Jangle here, the pace is slowed down in favour of melody and harmony. Terry Banks's Vocals are a revelation and it seems the tighter trio format suits them. I recently reviewed Black Vinyl Shoes for a magazine and the vibe here is pretty similar.

It's not all Scots Pop, there are departures, Green On Red is a noisy departure that works well and the excellent TV / Radio is splendid UK New Wave Power Pop, all sing along. Run And Duck For Cover is The Byrds doing Madchester.

The real joy though is that jangle. Never more so on the superb, Unfair Weather which could be The Housemartins. Special mention too for World's Last Payphone, a wonderful song that can be downloaded free. Proto Retro is a million miles away from the ramshackle earlier Dot Dash Days. Both are equally great, but this much nearer to my heart.

There's a lot of Jangle around at the moment from lost bands to new wannabes, much of it is mediocre, few can do it this well. This album is a corker and should be added to your collection forthwith. What are you waiting for?

You can listen to and buy the album here.

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