w/ Deathray Davies
Sun March 3
Dressy Bessy's Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons was, by far, the catchiest indiepop record of 1999. It featured Tammy Ealom singing candy-coated melodies that would make Phil Spector faint, over a buzzing crunch of guitars, drums, and tambourines (courtesy Rob Green, Darren Albert, and Apples in Stereo's John Hill). If you put it on a stereo and closed your eyes, you would visualize bikes with baskets, hula-hoops, cute teens frolicking on the beach, and all-night frug parties. With Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons, every day was summer.
That's why it's okay that the Denver quartet's new record, Sound Go Round, sounds pretty much exactly like Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons. What kind of moron wants summer to end? I'll tell you: guys who sit around drinking vodka in attics all day long, and those unfortunate enough to have been born with an absence of melanin.
Admittedly, Sound Go Round isn't THE SAME as PH,YM. Tammy sings in a lower range, and there is a shortage of anthemic choruses; the songwriting is more linear on this record, as opposed to there being eleven tracks of surefire party hits. As with Mates of State, Dressy Bessy's first full-length was virtually perfect; it's pretty hard to go on living once you've attained godliness.
Unlike Mates of State, however, Dressy Bessy has mostly avoided a sophomore slump by repeating the formula--sweetie-pie vocals kept from being too cutesy by simple guitars blurred with craggy distortion--with a more overt psychedelic pop element. (Some might say this follows the current indiepop trend of bands that listen to too much Strawberry Alarm Clock, Love, and the Association. I would direct nay-sayers to the band's Apples in Stereo roots, and argue that its existence rejuvenated the trend.)
The fact that the formula was impeccable in the first place justifies its repetition. The old Dressy Bessy chemistry is still there; the band has just added some piano solos, more handclaps, and this disco-y, soul groove on track nine that is sort of inexplicable, but wonderful, nonetheless. Like summer, Dressy Bessy will go on forever forever in your memories. Aaah.