June 14, 2007


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Dappled Cities, Granddance
Dangerbird Records, 2007

Too bad indie labels don’t offer subscriptions, being that Dangerbird has developed into a one-stop shopping mecca for the species of music dweeb that subsists on strict diets of quirky alt-pop and nothing else. According to recent interviews, Dappled Cities are still officially named Dappled Cities Fly; the forthcoming Senate subcommittee investigation into this renaming business should put that to rest once and for all. I could tell from their accents and fetish for marching drums that their mother country had at one point found it annoyingly difficult to get the Brits out of its hair, and indeed it turns out this Granddaddy/Shins-worshipping (Jim Fairchild’s a co-producer) lot are from Australia, which explains the Decemberists-level sloth with which they deliver each non-sequitur line (“I will not dance in you, ’cause you’re not a fire”). Their modular songwriting approach is successful more often than not, and includes nervous-pompous Arcade Fire proclamations, environmentally unsound falsettos, loud catchy things that sneak up on you, 98-pound-weakling twee mewlings and Pavement table scraps. C+ — Eric W. Saeger