Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Cassette Review: Dennis "S/T" (Hair Growth)
[$5 // http://hairgrowthrecords.bigcartel.com/product/dennis-s-t // https://hairgrowthrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dennis-s-t]
Having a band simply named Dennis will show your age as you reveal the first musician or celebrity that comes to mind with that first name. Off the top of my head, I can tell you that I have an Uncle named Dennis, one of my all-time favorite basketball players is Dennis Rodman and there was once a television series called "Pepper Dennis". There are also a few older baseball players with the name, such as Dennis Eckersly, but it does seem to be one of those older names that you don't hear as much now with the youth.
As far as music goes, I want to say that if your first thoughts were of Dennis Wilson then you might be old but I realize that my other music influence that first came to mind was that of the band Ten Foot Pole, as there exists a lyric where the front man sings to himself "Dennis it's so good to see you, you have no idea". Though after thinking about it, I realize that album is pretty old which makes me feel old so I guess if you can't think of anyone named Dennis you're probably young.
Describing the music of Dennis could also show my age but I've never been as concerned with that because if you put yourself in a position to write about music then I do feel as if you should know who someone such as the Beach Boys are, regardless of how old it might make you seem. Dreamy rock comes out with what can best be described as a cross between Marcy Playground and Nada Surf. I particularly can hear the song "The Plan" by Nada Surf coming out in these songs if that means anything.
There also exists this sort of sludge bass line factor which puts us on the edge of grunge and one song does pick up the pace to reach that punk/Nirvana level as well. Serious talking over melodies is in at least one song and I'd have to throw out a TMBG and Weezer reference as well, but there are also elements of Butthole Surfers and, yes, the more serious side of rock by Bloodhound Gang also. There is fuzz but I wouldn't call it as such.
Lines I can pull out as favorites such as "Life just came and went" are in here for sure but there is also a lot of music. I know post-rock seems to have that quality of music over vocals but I wouldn't put Dennis in there but rather I think of it as something like "Aneurysm" by Nirvana or of course the always lovely Cloud Nothings via "Attack on Memory".
Whether you can make reference to something older or newer within this music the fact is that Dennis has a quality I can't quite explain to them but if I did have to limit this to one genre it would be as one of those bands from the 1990's that had a radio single and yet every other song on the album from which it came was better than it. (Think Hum) Sure, that genre needs a shorter name but I haven't pulled from it in a while and so Dennis does become refreshing in that sense as well. Put this on loud and roll your windows down.