Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Rock
A free form psychedelic collection of music assembled by Magnetic owner and former Camper Van Beethoven viloinist Jonathan Segel. Features appearances by the alter egos of Victor Krummencaher, Alison Faith Levy and the Lor... more »
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A free form psychedelic collection of music assembled by Magnetic owner and former Camper Van Beethoven viloinist Jonathan Segel. Features appearances by the alter egos of Victor Krummencaher, Alison Faith Levy and the Lords of Howling Dave and Anne Costanza.
CVB members + pals + DIY mishmash+ ADD
John L Murphy | Los Angeles | 02/13/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is the second CD issued by Dent, a Bay Area project of members of Camper Van Beethoven (Jonathan Segal & Victor Krummenacher, at least) along with it seems Scott Miller and Alison Faith Levy from the Loud Family and a few others whose psuedonyms I cannot match to real-life musicians! It's supposed to be better than their first such record; judging by the decidedly mixed results I would not rush out to buy the debut. As many of these studio-experiment efforts go, it's par for the course.
The best tracks reflect what I have on Amazon earlier remarked upon in my reviews of Alison Faith Levy's solo work: she's sounds most promising when matched with either folkier, classically tinged, or DIY rock. The tracks from 6-9 align her and her mates most closely to the lower-key, sketchier, yet expansive, rather forlorn, indie pop work of CVB or the LF, for example. These songs are matched by tracks 15-16, that again return to similar hues.
However, songs 2-5 in the first section of the CD, and some in the latter third notably "Bangalong" and the I suppose ironically named "Chopsticks," turn truly tedious. They sound like what a teenager and a digital audio recorder can do on a laptop. There's an attempt at merging Eastern European with Western rock sensibilities as filtered through Bjork, but "Tsuki E" proves only a dissonant mess. Too bad, since on other records Segal's violin ability has shown itself to better effect. Mashing up hip-hop and found sounds and dissonance and overeducated but undernourished attempts at clever beats has been done much better elsewhere for any listener preferring that sort of semi-musical accompaniment. Sorry, I don't. Dent would be better off refining their DIY skills in the quieter, more emotional, and potentially more memorable-- if less raucous-- tunes that I have mentioned already.
A song title about Mauretania echoes closely one on the Loud Family's CD Days for Days, but the snippets here are not a cover, but a sort of devolved lounge-lizard short piece. This album skips all over the place, and while intellectually I understand the intent of this musical ADD, it's too inconsistent as a result to add up to a sum greater than its parts. These parts vary in quality. Six strong songs total. These, tracks 6-10 and 15-16, do salvage the album, which at least is generously loaded with songs, but the rest of this CD I found negligible. The opening track is a toss-up, repetitive but evidence for the band's search for a signature mood. The madly monikered players have talent, but the composers or sound compilers need more discipline in choosing what to place on the CD. Not every blip and glitch should have been kept. We don't need another indie collective aping Zappa let alone Primus.
A blurb on Amazon touts "Follow the Armadillo." I agree. ALF's vocals on this twisted country-ish tune again fit well into the CBV aesthetic. As shown well on this song as well as the pairing of "Emily" and "Questa Sunset," more reflective, introspective, desolate tunes reveal that this is a path that lures Dent closest to its true potential-- at least for this listener to this eclectic, enigmatic, if intermittently engaging record."