Next Great Batch of Okies
This is a phenomenal self-made debut from a Tulsa band that has yet to make much of dent outside of Oklahoma and Arkansas. What a shame that is because these guys certainly have the goods. From the riff-heavy album opener "Hills to Climb" to the surprising and psychedelic folk of the title track (which hearkens back to the quieter moments of Ronald Jones-era Lips), the first *side,* in the old parlance, of this short-form album demonstrates tight musicianship, excellent production work, and nothing short of lyrical genius, especially on the deliciously dark "Illegitimate One," a wild west tale of fatherhood gone horribly wrong--not for the faint of heart. But moodiness is not what Dachshund is all about. Rather, the band traffics in an honest and intelligent exploration of emotions, relationships, and stories that offer resonance for all of us, but for which rock bands seldom seem brave enough to dip so much as a toe into. Take, for instance, the sprightly and catchy grooves of "Sleep Tight," a paean to rock n' roll pipe dreamers everywhere, with guitar cases under their beds, but too little confidence to get started. This song simply demands repeated radio play, that is, if there were such a thing as radio these days. The second side is just as balanced as the first, with crushing guitar rockers like "I Know" and "Felix Under the Stairs" smoothed out with, respectively, great harmonies and Jamaican rhythms betraying influences as diverse as Tool, Beach Boys, and the Skatellites. But it's the Pixies-esque album closer that best showcases the emotional highs and lows we've heard throughout the album in a heartbreaking torch song that still conveys a sense of playfulness and even humor. What a brilliant dose of thoughtful rock! What promise this band has! Why these guys aren't a national act is beyond me.