A couple of years ago in this very space, yours truly genuflected before L.A.-based girl-guy act the Dagons, citing third album Teeth For Pearls' psychedelic brand of garage and Bad Seeds-esque noir-pop as evidence that this was more than just another post-White Stripes guitar 'n' drum act. True, the Dagons have been likened in some quarters to a Bizarro-World White Stripes; that's real-life couple Karie Jacobson in the Jack role and Drew Kowalski as Meg. But on the new long-player, the duo's closer to a stripped-down Bizarro-World Velvet Underground. It's hard to miss that primeval VU thud on tunes such as the distorto, "White Heat"-ish title track or "How to Get Through the Glass," which adds some vintage Blondie and a touch of "Secret Agent Man" to an already potent brew. "In Gingham," with its creaking, opiated modal-drone arrangement, is like "Venus In Furs" sung by Nico. Also present is some Cramps-y punkabilly ("Planchettes Half-apes" love that title), and a pair of experimental, avantish noise interludes (the nightmarish synthscape of "Scylla" is pure Martin Rev-Suicide, and the lo-fi huff 'n' twang of "Panic In The Snake House" another great title recalls the deconstructionist aesthetic of honorary Noo Yorkers Panther Burns). Come to think of it, this is just about the best '70s-era NYC record I've heard since, well, the '70s.
Fred Mills writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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