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How to Program a VCR

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Customer Reviews

Great CD

The CD is great. A lot of fun music, meaningful lyrics, and the way they ended it (both the last song choice and other hidden surprises) shows who they really are. This one is a must have.

A Quick Overview

Ska may be dead, but Dime Store Heist is alive and well. A fusion of third wave ska, rock, alternative and indie influences, their music is as lively as it is unpredictable. The five-piece has been touring their local music circuit for several years now, and their first full-length recording, How to Program a VCR, is a surprisingly well-developed project by a group not known for taking themselves too seriously. Dime Store Heist isn't afraid to try the unconventional, and the record is all the better for it. The eleven tracks crackle with the energy and zest of the band's live performances, filled with startling juxtapositions that may be insane or brilliant – or both.

The mostly lightweight (and absurdly titled) “Skinned Knees and Gravel Dessert” bounces back and forth between a straight rock styling and a sparse jazzy section before diving head first into a hardcore-inspired breakdown. “Biker Cowboy Showdown” is so named because of the seemingly warring styles (impossibly peppy vs. ironic radio-core) found in different parts of the song. These songs, along with the title track, show the band's fun side, owing heavily to the likes of Five Iron Frenzy and Reel Big Fish. On the other hand, “The Stillness; The Change” features a more subdued aesthetic reminiscent of Edison Glass, whereas the pounding refrain of “Deaf in the Water” will have modern rock fans banging their heads.

When listening to the record, you'll never go too long without a key change or tempo upset, keeping things from getting dull; but ultimately it's all in service of the song. Dime Store's melodies are catchy and their parts thoughtfully composed. Perhaps best of all, the message of the album is, like its overall tone, relentlessly positive. They aren't trying to sound like anyone but themselves, and they're having a great time doing it. In a sea of sameness and mediocrity, How to Program a VCR seems like a breath of fresh air. You'll dance, you'll sing, and you'll figure out how to operate increasingly outdated home video equipment. Now that's what I call a party.


Buy it! It's great! I Love it!

How to Program a VCR, Dime Store Heist
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: Mar 01, 2010

Customer Ratings