I like avant-garde. I like when people go out and try something really different with sounds and set-ups than what we’re used to. Even if it doesn’t appeal to me sonically, I have nothing but respect for people who try new things. Sometimes, what works best is taking what we are used to and subtly turning it on its ear.
Dylan Sires and Neighbors’ No One is a pop rock album. It has elements of The Beatles and lots of post punk nods to the usual suspects, but also later alternative bands like Husker Du and such. The harmonies are pretty and spacey. The musicianship is above board and the lyrics are right at home, but on occasion they go a little away from the ordinary. However, that is such a small piece of what this album actually is.
And that’s the thing about No One. It feels like comfortable, but there is a lot about it that sneaks up on you. It is a gateway album, where you think you’re just listening to a standard pop-rock piece, and then you realize there is so much more going on. That maybe, you’re listening to something a little more new wave or a little more unique than on first glance. The middle three tracks of the album, “Save My Life”, “Catherine Diane Michelle” and “Messenger” are perfect examples of what is really going on. Each track on their own is a fun piece of music, but when you put them back to back to back you see the Dylan Sires and Neighbors aren’t the type of guys to just ape a genre and call it a day.
Dylan Sires and Neighbors are band you could pigeon-hole immediately and then walk away. Their music is that comfortable. But, they use their influences to create a different style within each track and sometimes verse. It is a subtle and successful attempt at making a modern album with classic feel. There is so much going on within each track that you want to listen again and again to catch the changes. However, it is also an album you can put on in the background and just live your life to. This album succeeds at making you think and just making you smile. That is a good album.
Try Not To Miss Shows – 6/27 – 7/3
Artquake – Des Moines Social Club (The New Firehouse Location) – 6/27 6pm
An awesome pre arts festival party. Lots of different visual arts, but musically it is stacked. Tires, NPR approved Lemuria, Satellite State and the new super-group Dick Weed. This should prove to be one of the best shows of the summer.
The Wheelers, The Slats and more – Vaudeville Mews – 6/29 10pm
Some fun rock music featuring a couple of reunited bands. The Slats haven’t played for a while, and there are tales that a reunited Pookey Bleum has joined the bill. Totally worth checking out.
Hath No Fury, Peace Love and Stuff and Madam Jules – Gas Lamp – 6/30 9pm
Three of Des Moines’ best female fronted bands. I have talked up Peace Love and Stuff a few times and Hath No Fury has a new lineup you should check out. But don’t sleep on Madam Jules who is a wonderful singer and songwriter.