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We Live Now

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Album Review

Dora Flood's latest album of psyched-out fuzz is, indeed, just that — and there's no sin in doing it very well. Taking the tack that one can be massively heavy but can still find the pop in it all — something that Josh Homme has long since demonstrated is an entirely feasible approach — Dora Flood's own long career hasn't been as celebrated but deserves an ear; We Live Now is a good entry for the curious. (It also doesn't hurt that they know to call the first song on the album "Phoenix Rising," and that they make it sound like that, a slow epic rise of a song with a killer guitar solo that's pure skybound-from-the-desert majesty.) If Dora Flood have a reliable standby it's soothing but stoned harmonies mixed with exultant guitar, something that inevitably calls to mind everything from the Association and late-'60s Byrds to proto-metal like Steppenwolf. Classic tripping out is unsurprisingly in evidence, thus the blend of light falsetto and rising and falling keyboards on "Atlantis," spiked with a total guitar snarl on the chorus. Even the more straight-up pop moments aren't really that; a song like "Everywhere We Go" keeps things on a calmer and generally brisker tip (not quite motorik but not too far removed), but the layered arrangement, massed vocals, and spiraling, spindly solos and more make for a thick end result. No question that Dora Flood are out to revisit a past that never quite was rather than projecting where things might go next, but with this as a given, We Live Now is a pure treat, full stop.


Formed: San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Originally known as Belladonna, this San Franciscan quintet changed its name but not its homage to classic British pop and psychedelic rock. In 1995, Dora Flood released an EP on American Standard Recordings entitled 1301. The group continued performing around San Francisco and the Pacific Coast. In 1999, the band released its first full-length effort, Lost on Earth, on Double Play. Touring in support of the record had Dora Flood playing in Europe, the continental United States, and Canada, despite...
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