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Dandelion Wine

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Album Review

Yellow and green for the cover art, a plant-based product for an album name — if the Volta Sound hadn't started their new album Dandelion Wine with a low-key acoustic strum/singalong redolent of hippie vibes, it would have been a strange thing indeed. Having already released a couple of enjoyable efforts, the Volta Sound's 2004 turn isn't quite their unplugged album but it does generally aim for a hazy, pleasant campfire singalong atmosphere spiked with a bit of Beatles-tinged psychedelia, thus the horn additions on songs like "There Is No Question" and the horn and flutes both on the merry "I Knew You'd Know," which is actually a pretty good dance number in its own way as well. The most beautiful song in that particular vein is easily "Goldilocks," with a deliciously rich blend of acoustic and electric guitars that's pure shimmer-in-the-sunlight joy. At points Dandelion Wine often compares favorably to the overarching vocal chorales of the Polyphonic Spree — the Volta Sound may not have the constant Mike Curb Congregation fixation but that's actually an improvement. As a result, "I Love You," with its slow building but never over the top arrangements, and in a much quieter way, the concluding harmonies on "Three Two One," to name two examples, sway easily rather than overwhelmingly. They're not quite Amon Düül freak-outs and they're not Up With People-bland, instead finding a good blend of calm and bite. Best song title — "Faustrock," as it takes a lot to make a double rock in-joke reference and actually come up with a good droned-and-stoned keyboard-led instrumental song to go with it. (Second best has to be the perfectly self-descriptive "Girls and Tambourines.") The amusing bonus award goes to the unlisted one-take acoustic cover of semi-sister band New Planet Trampoline's "Skeleton Key."


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Cleveland, OH's the Volta Sound -- Mike Cormier (vocals, acoustic guitar, tambourine), Ben Yawns (guitar, trumpet, trombone), Matt Cassidy (electric guitar, vocals), Todd "T.D." Vainisi (combo organs), David Geddes (bass), and Mike Prieto (drums) -- officially came together as a group in mid-2000. They are one of several bands associated with the local Davenport Records label, founded by Cassidy in nearby Kent, OH (near Akron and Cleveland). In addition to the Volta Sound, the other groups in this...
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Dandelion Wine, The Volta Sound
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