Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

The Dalloways-Penalty Crusade

September 1, 2005

thedallowaysBand Name: The Dalloways
Album Name: Penalty Crusade
Best Element: Strong sense of mood.
Genre: Mellow pop.
Website: www.dalloways.com
Label Name: Bird in Box Records (www.birdinbox.com)
Band E-mail: info@dalloways.com

The Dalloways are not mainstream. Or rather, they are the type of band that one can not appreciate until the years of mainstream listening have turned into years of underground searching and back to mainstream, except a different type of mainstream- the type of mainstream that people actually listen to. Pop.
But not pop in the Britney Spears/N’SYNC sense of the word- pop as in good songwriting and layered texture. Pop as in harmonies and beautiful guitar sounds. Pop as in the Beach Boys, the Smiths, or Belle and Sebastian . In this odd and illogical world, the term “Pop” has come to represent corporate marketing and shallow, youth-targeting MTV propaganda.
But the point where the Dalloways are coming from is a different world entirely. There is no TV screen flashing bright colors. There is no million dollar video budget. All that spreads forth from Penalty Crusade is the slow burn of longing and heartache into a cloud of sweet melody that makes this album an absolute indie pop gem.
Penalty Crusade is the kind of record that needs to be listened to all the way through in one sitting. The next song builds on the last and there is a strong sense of musical style that ties the whole thing together. However, the track that really gives Penalty Crusade its wings is the beautiful “How Can I Explain”. It has a breezy feel that flows through the ears with a soft melody and playful harmonies that sound like the soundtrack to the long autumn drive on a Sunday afternoon. The lyrics are not printed in the booklet, but it doesn’t matter. This is atmospheric music, meant to be absorbed through repeated listens. Brit Pop and easy listening fans take note: this album is for you.

-VicA

jsonmusic@hotmail.com

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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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