Were I given the editorial luxury of summarizing every band I write about in a single, incredibly vague sentence I would trivially summarize Dada Swing thusly: Undoubtedly the greatest Bay Area punk band Italy has ever produced. See why they don't let me do that? And even as I prepare to wax for another 300 words or so, I find it difficult to come up with a more precise description for the Rome-based trio--Dada Swing, in all of their various nooks and crannies, sound like a strangely accurate cross section of a scene that's remarkably difficult to pin down.
Conceived specifically to serve as the opening band for a Frumpies tour of Italy in 2000, Dada Swing unsurprisingly made their stateside debut on Kill Rock Stars' Field and Streams compilation, with a full length following a year later on San Francisco's Cochon label. Though a number of comparable Californians come to mind (Numbers at times, along with Erase Errata), the most immediate sonic reference point is Deerhoof, whose more gleeful, ecstatic elements share some striking similarities to Dada's more simplified approach--a comparison superficially aided by the band's reliance upon their mutual ESL frontwomen. (That original Dada drummer Bernardo Santarelli was recently replaced by Deerhoof mafia member Jamie Peterson certainly doesn't hurt either). Comparatively however, Dada's sound is more joyfully janky than their Oaklandian brethren--an arty, often aggressive amalgam of lo-fi, no wave, and junk-store dance punk, fused in a fashion that seems to transcend those all-too-earthy descriptors. Live, the trio juggles a pair of guitars, a drum kit, electronics, glockenspiel, various toys, and an array of other reported performance elements that the band describes as both "wacky" and "action-packed"--descriptors that, were it not for the excellence of their recorded material and general Euro-ness, might otherwise be a bit of a turn off.
Currently on tour (in support of their recently released split EP) with Jenny Hoyston's Erase Errata side project Paradise Island, the Roman Bay-o-philes hit town for the second time in just over a month--and if history is any indication, this may be your last chance to see Italy's answer to Oakland for quite some time.