by tom johnson
I can’t remember exactly when it was that I first realised the voice could be just as primal a beast as the guitar/instruments, but it certainly felt like a revelation. And it still does; those moments when the human voice transcends simple conversation and offers something much more compelling and affecting. If this makes for something of a muddled introduction then simply hit play on the new EP from Dear Blanca below and you’ll see what I mean. Frontman Dylan Dickerson has the kind of voice the simply howls; a rabid, coruscating growl that feels wonderfully, emphatically, full of life no matter what it happens to be portraying.
Following on from their previous two full-length efforts, ‘I Don’t Mean To Dwell‘ was recorded with Scott Solter – who has previously worked with the likes of Mountain Goats, St. Vincent, Spoon – and it finds the band in wonderfully wholesome form. Released this Friday, but streaming here from today, the new EP recalls the mighty rush of The Walkmen in their most robust form, delivering five, rhythmic, pulsing, vivid bouts of good ol’ rock and roll.
Opening track ‘Joint Effort‘ is a swaggering expelling of demons, all vibrant guitars and forceful declarations, while ‘Thoughtless’ steps it up a further gear with a crashingly propulsive drive. Barely letting up the pace throughout, the second half of the record follows a similar path, bursting headlong through ‘Temporary Solution‘ and the bustling title track – although the pace does settle somewhat for closing track ‘Ill At Ease‘, though it’s only ever a short reprieve as that voice rips apart any sense of solemnity that might be found.
A sobering, full-bodied bout of immoveable guitar-pop, ‘I Don’t Mean To Dwell‘ is the most spirited of rides; the kind of collection that grabs you in a vice-like grip and simply shakes your bones until you feel the power of its convictions. Stream it in full below; we suggest listening to it as loudly as your situation permits.
I Don’t Mean To Dwell is released on March 4th, via Post-Echo
You can pre-order it here