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Monday 4 September 2023

The Dumbanimals - Thrift Pop


Prepare to be amazed, but first a word from your sponsor. The Listening To This Week project is extremely popular. It does have its detractors worried about a move away from Album Reviews. But I never see that, the album content here is as much as it ever was. LTTW is an addition.

It was set up as a way to help bands who only release stand alone songs, but it was also meant to open up avenues for longer format releases by discovering artists that we wouldn't have fell over and it is also achieving that. Without Listening To This Week, I would never have discovered The Dumbanimals.

They are part of a younger audience, an audience that are much more engaged and want to learn about the past, whilst doing what they do. I will think this band sounds like The Sugarplastic or that band sounds like XTC and they will reply who are they? But then they go off and listen to them.

This has revitalised IDHAS and more importantly myself. It has also added new faces, big IDHAS activity and most important, more great music. The Dumbanimals are from Arlington Vermont and Thrift Pop is the best thing I have heard this year, maybe even for a few years.

The default position is Power Pop, American Power Pop, Great American Power Pop, but the band also allow themselves to tread into different areas. Hook In Our Jaw could be early Weezer, yet Aim Lame (Call Me Crazy) is slowed down early 90s Guitar Pop, but also has big hints of late 60s clever Pop Rock.

Yay About Today is splendid Slacker Rock, whilst Futz edges towards New Wave Punk. 1995 is real woe is me first half of the 90s College Rock. Then In My Car goes all 60s Drive In Movies. Lullaby Jack is sprawling and chaotic, wonderfully so, it reminds me of bands like Ness.

But it is the Power Pop that shines brightly. Both Lollygagger and Doorknob are classic examples of the Power Pop revival of the 90s, you would expect them to appear on Not Lame. There is also real humour and self effacement in spades, particularly on Scribble.

There is a serious message across some of the songs, but only repeated listens reveal this. You are way too caught up in the hooks and sheer class of the album. Too busy singing along and continually saying wow this is good.

Thrift Pop underlines how special Guitar Pop can be when it is in the right hands. This is beautifully performed and arranged. You should now head over to the link below and get with the IDHAS Cool Kids. You can thank me later.

You can listen to and buy the album here. A CD will be released in a month or so and I will of course update this review when they are on sale.


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