CityBeat
February 2011

DOT
Handle Without Care
It’s hard to describe DOT, as they don’t fit one genre, a fact made evident by the switch from bluesy alternative rock to a Cake-like spoken rap-esque screamo…thing. I understand that DOT is actually trying to be experimental and be really loud and wild, but the band’s music needs a bit more definition in order for it to really flow. Such incongruence could be the result of the band’s hiatus and subsequent new lineup, but in order for their musical talent to be put to good use, they need to find their niche. Or maybe I just don’t get it. MS/dotdotdot

Foreign Film
EP
Foreign Film is the definition of sunny San Diego pop rock, as evidenced by comments on their iTunes page (“This album is great to ride your bike to!”). The three-man band’s first EP, released on Mannequin Vanity Records, is a fast-paced yet easy-going mix of what I describe as “bounce in the passenger seat-y” music for young folk. The songs sound like what would come about if Weezer, The Strokes, The Walkmen and Rooney formed a supergroup, Dead Weather style. listn.to/foreignfilm

Gaze Shoe
Sleeping Above 3rd Ave.
Sleeping Above 3rd Ave., a collection of droning electronica, is the product of Kyle Baudour, a multi-instrumentalist whose work is released by Hop Skip Jump records. The mystical, almost eerie, music is set to a constant background of drone and reverb. With this genre of sound comes the risk of completely letting oneself go, meditatively speaking. Baudour makes the taking of said risk an inevitable result of paying full attention to the art contained on this EP, which, from my experience, is a good thing. Gaze Shoe is a hit for people that like dramatic films with emotional instrumental soundtracks. gazeshoe.bandcamp.com

The Sixties
Songs of Our Love (& Hate)
If you’re a fan of boy/girl harmonies, you’ll appreciate The Sixties whole-heartedly. Their calm and honest lyrics are relatable and tell an interesting story of what sounds like a pretty destructive relationship. With songs titled “Drunk on a Wire” and “The Drugs Don’t Work,” and lyrics like, “Sure your love was great/ But you fucked it up,” The Sixties have joined a beloved realm of music that is embraced by both contemplative hipsters and drunk 20-something-year-olds alike. I recommend this band for fans of Tilly and The Wall and Best Coast. 3944.bandcamp.com/album/self-titled

Phen Swan
Hidden Vibrations
If you love Dntel and Panda Bear, you will certainly appreciate Phen Swan. A pleasant mix of both comparisons, Phen Swan samples interesting, everyday occurrences, like a crowd cheering at his cousin Andrew’s swim meet, and incorporates them into melodic loops electro-acoustically. Take one look at Swan’s tumblr (phenswan.tumblr.com) and you’ll understand how his brain creates such an intriguing array of sample combos, and you’ll enjoy listening to the album that much more. Each copy of Hidden Vibrations is personalized with an extra track and a unique drawing insert so that each listener can have their own personal experience. phenswan.bandcamp.com

Comment