Friday, November 4, 2011

Reviewed :: The Blue Dress - These Happy Golden Years [EP]

Cape Cod's psych pop stalwarts, The Blue Dress first popped up on our radar last summer with the release of their wonderful debut, Demo EP. In fact, we beat the shit of that release's 4 tracks on almost daily basis. So when we heard the band would be releasing a new cassette/digital EP via Chicago's excellent Already Dead Tapes we were more than a little eager to hear the new material. We wrote about the release and premiered one of the albums track earlier this fall, but that only upped our anticipation.

For the recording of These Happy Golden Years, the adroit duo of Patrick Tottenham and Timothy Sylvia expanded upon their sound with multifarious instrumentation courtesy of contributions from Ben Raymond (trumpet), Kassie Carlson (violin), Kristie Defastano (vocals), and Rob Kelly of The Soft White 3-Way (keyboards). The EP was tracked by Silvia at Treetops Studios in September and features 3 new compositions and a re-working of the Demo EP's standout, Deth Ray, re-titled here as My Deth Ray. The set starts with arguably the bands strongest track to date with The Totem, it features driving and distorted guitar lines and a killer, albeit nihilistic chorus, "there's nothing on the other side". My Deth Ray has been transformed from an austere acoustic dirge to a triumphant foot stomper complete with trumpet wails and tenacious rhythms. Over Your Eyes finds The Blue Dress displaying their dexterous gift for creating chilling psych pop, with big chords and even bigger hooks. The EP comes to a close with the release's longest track, Frozen Daughter which comes in just under the six minute mark with not a second wasted, combining drone, noise, bursts of trumpet, and tribal drumming. It brings to mind the early work of Mercury Rev, particularly Yourself Is Steam, at least to our ears.

These Happy Golden Years finds The Blue Dress pushing their sound forward with an engaging and devastating collection of songs, albeit far too short for our liking, nonetheless it's one of the finest recordings we've heard all year.

1 comment:

HardBargain said...

Thanks for the post!

I am the 'co owner' of Already Dead Tapes. Super excited to have this album out. If you ever wanna review something else from AD, let me know and I'll get you the files and/or mail you a tape.

-Sean Hartman