Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Dawn of the Dude brings together influences for a great album

November 1, 2007

Band Name: Dawn of the Dude
Album Name: International Time Travel With Magical Babes
Best Element:  Catchy and unique pop-punk that uses its influences well.
Genre: Pop-Punk
Website: http://www.dawnofthedude.com
Label Name: [url=http://www.oortrecords.com]Oort Records[/url]
Band e-mail: http://www.myspace.com/dawnofthedude

Asheville, NC, pop-punk band Dawn of the Dude got their absurdly long, yet vastly amusing, album title right.  International Time Travel With Magical Babes draws on pop influences from throughout the history of pop, creating an album that is unique in its sonic diversity but is still unified in its overall sound.

Over the course of listening to the album, I quite often found myself saying, “Well, this song sounds a lot like something [insert random pop rock artist] would write.” In no way is that a bad thing. While many bands out there rely so much on their influences that they ultimately sound derivative, Dawn of the Dude manages to honor their diverse influences and still deliver an original sound that is fun to listen to.

As I listened to the album, I heard songs that made me think of 80’s pop, ska, any number of pop-punk bands and even 50’s pop, as well as bands like Guns’n’Roses, The Get Up Kids, U2. All of these help to keep the music interesting, because just when you think you have the band’s sound figured out, they hit you with something completely different.

With the first few songs, as well as several more throughout, the band presents a fine-toned pop-punk sound that rides smoothly on its heavy use of keyboards and vocal harmonies. These songs are destined to be sung at the top of the lungs of many teenage girls.

Songs like “Circuits of Time,” and “The Dream” evoke the 80’s at their best/worst. These songs had me thinking of the likes of Simple Minds, A-Ha, Flock of Seagulls, and all those 80’s bands that we hate to love/love to hate. (And that’s why it’s fitting that their bassist has a crazy haircut that is reminiscent of Stephen Baldwin in Biodome.)

The band brings in some ska with “Brittany Kaiser.” Unfortunately, their trombone player doesn’t get nearly enough time on the album, which is probably my biggest complaint, because I love horns.

With “Lovers’ Lane,” the band does a complete one-eighty and presents a soft pop ballad circa 1950’s. I expected the song to explode into a full pop-punk cavalry charge throughout, but was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The lyrics are appropriately sweet for the song’s tone and it features some great vocals.

The reason I know I think this CD is great is because I honestly would put it in my car stereo and listen to it on a regular basis. Unless you really hate pop-punk, there’s very little to dislike about this album.

-Nate Williams
nathanmw@ou.edu

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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