Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cassette Review: Dumb Angel "Broken Glass" (Clamour Records)

[$7 //]

The music of Dumb Angel is a combination of genres you have most likely heard before but not together.   I, for one, cannot recall a time as to when I might have heard these two together, as they seem to combine that Americana/folk with shoegaze (And yes, that does somehow work when done properly, as Dumb Angel taught me here)

There is a strong presence of the Wallflowers on "Broken Glass" which is always strange for me to type when I like the music because I was never really a big fan of the Wallflowers.    Some Soul Asylum comes out, if only vocally, and it adds more to that folk side of things, as it could be one of the slower, more acoustic songs from "Grave Dancer's Union" being channeled.    Tom Petty and "Walking On a Wire" era Get Up Kids round out the first set of sound in the best possible way.

Now this isn't something that is split between Side A and Side B or on a song by song basis, but there is also a feeling of shoegaze coming through.    The word shoegaze itself can be very dangerous to use because everything on Bandcamp seems to be tagged with it, but this does have that traditional shoegaze feel to it, like something off of a When the Sun Hits compilation.     It's just a lot of pretty melodies mixed with the aforementioned folk.

With the name Dumb Angel and the title "Broken Glass" this doesn't really make me think of much other than the song about walking on broken glass.   It's one of the few times where I can't look at an artist's name and think the music might be a reflection of it somehow.  Does Dumb Angel sound goth? Vaporwave? Techno?  Really it doesn't imply any genre to me and that's a good thing.

Lyrically, these songs can be summed up in the line "Why do I try?", which we should all be able to relate to and then the music itself is just such a pleasant and perfect combination of two genres I adore so much.    If you asked me if shoegaze should mix with folk/Americana I'd probably say not to try it, but Dumb Angel has made a believer out of me.

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