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De Novo Dahl
Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound
Roadrunner Records
www.denovodahl.com


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 The wistful swaying rhythms of bassist Keith Lowen and drummer Joey Andrews (who has been replaced by Mixta Huxtable) on tracks like "Means To An End" and "Not To Escape" have a thoughtful touch, whereas the two of them drive in their stakes on the punk rock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.

-Susan Frances

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