9 Songs

Review of Dub Thompson's 9 songs. coming out soon on Dead Oceans, the first single of the album is "No Time"

Label: Dead Oceans
Rating: 6.5

Matt Pulos and Evan Laffer aka Dub Thompson, are to release their debut album 9 Songs out on Dead Thompson this month. Both nineteen years old, the duo recorded the LP while living with Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado at his rented house in Bloomington, Indiana. Quoting influences from all over, including Big Black and Pere Ubu, Kraut innovators Can and Kraftwerk and British bands The Fall and This Heat, their sound is leaning towards psychedelic pop rock.

This range of influences helps place the band’s sound; “Most everyone who’s in a group who’s our age lives on the Internet,” guitarist Matt Pulos explains. “The kinds of things that have shaped our band aren’t anchored to any one time or place.” The eight tracks (yes, the title is a little misleading) cover sounds ranging from noisy rock to doomy melodies and also include the use of samples.

Opening track “Hayward!” is an intense wall of sound, deep bass lines and thrashes of guitar accompany shout-y DIY lyrics and a heavy rhythm throughout. “No Time” turns the heat down a little, the rhythms are more steady, but saying that, the feel is still stomping with organ notes and faded vocals calling out; “baby you got no time for lovin’, baby you got no time for love” repeats.

“Epicondyles” sounds straight out of the sixties, not dissimilar to Iggy Pop and the Stooges, it’s a doomy track with lovely guitar twangs and space to breath. “Dograces” has a booming intro before a more speak-y vocal style, it’s relaxed and fuzzy, before out of nowhere, the big noises patter out and a mood/lift music sample comes in, feeling totally out of place.

“Mono” is a mash of noisy guitar and electric strings squeaking, it’s the most Krautrock of the Dub Thompson release so far, robotic vocals exclaim; “I believe, I believe in a lonely guy”. Title track “9 Songs” continues the noise, tambourine barely audible over the guitar mangles. “Pterodactyls” closes 9 Songs with a bang, it’s fast paced, stomp-y and noisy, and a brilliant way for Dub Thompson to close.


Reviewed by Heather Welsh.

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