Roadrunner Records, the home to many prominent hardcore architects
like Slipknot, Machine Head and DragonForce,
have turned a new leaf and expanded their artist repertoire with the
signing of De Novo Dahl, whose debut album with the label,
Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound goes in directions that
no other Roadrunner artists have gone before. De Novo Dahl show shavings
of new wave synth-textured rock with rousing '70s glam-punk tonics
and kaleidoscope-pop psychedelics reflective of modern pop's Ambulance
Ltd. and Stereophonics.
De Novo Dahl's quintet call Nashville, Tennessee home. On that note,
they have amassed a spinning roulette wheel of music which makes the
listening experience quite intriguing as the album moves unpredictably
through the tracks. The songs range from the frenzied punk pogoing
of the Sex Pistols in "Be Your Man" to frames of
disco-ized modern pop schemes reminiscent of the Scissor Sisters
in "Shakedown." Listening to Move Every Muscle, Make
Every Sound from top to bottom is like going through a mini filmstrip
that provides quick snippets of each passing phrase in music through
the generations. De Novo Dahl mange to bundle up the signature sounds
of the '70s, '80s, '90s, and the new millennium into an album that
sounds like nobody else but De Novo Dahl.
The sing-along choruses and rhythmic drilling through "Shout"
have a pub rock vibe that recalls Black 47, while the twinkling
synth effects of "Heartbreaker" are adorned with swooning
bebop stylized vocals permeating a moment of soft introspection. The
lead vocals of a guitarist Joel J. Dahl entomb the melodies
in a dreamscape shell as the harmony vocals of percussionist/monochords
Serai Zaffiro swath the melodies in a lacy gauze. The wistful
swaying rhythms of bassist Keith Lowen and drummer Joey
Andrews (who has been replaced by Mixta Huxtable) on tracks
like "Means To An End" and "Not To Escape" have
a thoughtful touch, whereas the two of them drive in their stakes
on the punk rock quivers of "Be Your Man" and hammer down
on the pub-rock frets of "The Sky Is Falling." Keyboardist
Matthew Hungate stylizes the dance-pop thrusts of "Shakedown"
with rakish swivels reflective of the Scissor Sisters and the new
wave décor of the 80's Pin Monkeys. The band dips into
an acoustic rock session with "Marketplace" displaying a
nice suppleness in the vocal rises and slopes and the tissuey haze
which brandishes dreamy atmospherics. The band profiles their new-disco
flares in songs like "New Hero" and "Subject Of The
Kill" which have all the tenets required for club music status.
Though quite a fair share of De Novo Dahl's music has the décor
of club music, they toss themselves into punk and acoustic rock esthetics
just the same. Their rhythm action glides with the ease of water streaming
through a creek and pogos with the urgency of a jack rabbit scurrying
through a grassy field. Produced by Justin Louks, Ian Fitchuk
and De Novo Dahl, Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound has made
a new quilt out of patches from the past. They took their musical
influences and shaped the melodic patterns to their own liking. De
Novo Dahl have encapsulated the music of our time in their album,
and you are bound to find something that you want to visit.
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