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Dressy Bessy
Sound Go Round
Kindercore


Yeah, yeah, yeah. Every Kindercore release is essentially the same band playing the same song. Ok, how can I argue with truth? Kindercore isn't diverse. But more power to them for being the best at what they do and not apologizing one damn bit for it. So, it would also be fair to say that if you've heard Dressy Bessy, then you already know, for the most part, what this album sounds like from the first distorted moan of the guitar to the last jangley chorus. It's garage pop and it's fun and un-compelling. I want to trash this album based on all of these factors and I can't, because it's got too many hooks to deny its appeal.

"I Saw Cinnamon" starts off Dressy Bessy's sophomore effort. This is easily one of the weaker tracks off of the album and made me feel averse to listening to the rest of the album. The formula is there, but something about the track feels claustrophobic and forced. The melody is jarring and despite a pretty good chorus, it couldn't save the song. It's surprising that this was the lead track on an otherwise great album. "I Saw Cinnamon" still sounds like bubble-gum pop, but it sounds like it's being played by a band who doesn't really want to have a "bubble-gum" sound. This may, in fact, be the case with DB. The better tracks on Sound Go Round, such as "All These Colors", "Flower Jargon" and "Carry-On" play out with more emotional depth and straightforward song writing than what you would expect from the happy-go-lucky vibe the genre is known for.

That's not to say that Dressy Bessy can't play bubble-gum pop well. They do it better than almost anyone. Look no further for proof of this than the third track "There's A Girl". This shameless foot tapper of a song is definitive of the appeal of Dressy Bessy. The music is warm enough and solid enough to take you with it wherever it goes, but its presence isn't so overpowering as to dominate the atmosphere.

Ultimately, Dressy Bessy has more in common with J-pop (Japanese pop for the uninitiated) than with the zany bubble-gum pop of many of their label mates. Yes, happy and bouncing tunes are the foremost element of DB's sound, but there's a definite (dare I say it) indie rock vein that runs through the heart of the music. While the energy isn't as rambunctious as that of most J-pop acts, it still borrows characteristics from 70's punk, sock hop tunes from the 50's and the lonely, sulking sounds of their college rock contemporaries.

With a couple of exceptions, like the inexplicable filler of "Fare Thee Well", the album flows well, is entertaining and an easy listen. It's got a good beat and I can dance to it. I can also smoke to it, drink to it and be ever so slightly compelled by it. A good half of the songs will happily remain in your head after the first listen. This album has more hooks than a pirate convention.

Tyler Jacobson

Track Listing:

1. I Saw Cinnamon
2. TAG
3. There's A Girl
4. Just Being Me
5. That's Why
6. Oh Mi Amour
7. Buttercups
8. Maybe Laughter
9. Big To Do
10. All These Colors
11. Flower Jargon
12. Fare Thee Well
13. Carry-On

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