Jan 28, 2010

Dumptruck. D is for Dumptruck.

Dumptruck hailed from the early 80’s Boston music scene, but sounded more like their southern gothic counterparts, R.E.M. (by way of Joy Division), or the Feelies if they had been factory workers. Hovering between knotty art-punk and jangly college rock, they had a certain melodic dryness that—coupled with Kirk Swan and Seth Tiven’s deadpan vocals—gave them a rather alienated, dejected sound. They’re not necessarily singing about depressing things, it’s just that they sound like two people who have spent too much time in abandoned places. Which, from an artistic standpoint, can be a good thing. The guitar and bass have their own moods—sometimes working in concert, sometimes competing, at and other times just ignoring each other altogether. The singing could be described as flat if it weren’t for their odd vocal inflections and the way they stress unexpected parts of their lyrics—things that seem like they don’t need pointing out. The words rarely rhyme, although they feel like they do, and they never quite sync up with the music. It’s a surprisingly effective conceit that somehow ends up investing the songs with a tension and ambiguity that only registers unconsciously.

The reissue adds live tracks that show the band in a more confident setting, revisiting these songs with a lot more energy and flirting with a countrified Mission of Burma sound.

D is For...

Dumptruck on myspace

Dumptruck website

1 Blurt:

JDT said...

Thanks a bunch for this!