Friday, 2 August 2013

Dan Potter Sings - Self/Titled

Album review by

Dan Potter Sings are (sic) Dan Potter who deals in singular, rich, rewarding, at times challenging music. On his debut, 'Self/Titled', you will need to check you head in at the door, along with any conformities. Lurching, swirling, abrasive and angular, 'Human Error' leads off the album hard. It is all held together with a bright yet delicate vocal, and has the challenges of post-rock, grunge and hardcore. Like a beatific Husker Du, 'Motion Capture Sickness' has a primary-coloured melody shining through it. All housed in a fuzzed-up urgent vibrancy; a delicious gem of a song. Pulsating bass grounds 'Sleeper Cell' into the left-field grunge of Yuck and The Poises. Sweet vocals coat over a darker musical sea. 'Sleeper Cell' embeds in you and doesn't leave you for a long time. For some reason 'Crossing Bridges' doesn't work so well. It has some sparkling elements, but they fail to ignite together and the song has disjointed feel that it just too separate to fully realise its potential.

Instantly successful with a proto-glam riff, 'Time Passes By' is a peach of a song like prime Redd Kross gorging on Ziggy and Bolan. A sparkling blast of a tune with a killer solo to take it out. Then one of the album's loveliest moments entices you into 'I Like It'. A sublime guitar which leads into a honeyed, fuzzed-out haze, like some 'Gish'-era Pumpkins lost star; 'I like It' draws you into sheer bliss. You turn up the volume, close your eyes and just give yourself over. Then you are pounded out of reverie with the pummeling 'Not a Slave 2 What U Want'. The Pumpkins lineage is strong again, this time close to the vitriol of 'Zero'. However punishing, 'Not a Slave…' is a cathartic rush of a trip. Pure Bob Mould shimmering guitars shine all over the joyous buzz of 'Ain't Right'. It's a sharp hit of pop-fuzzed grunge that again has you turning it up. Dan Potter is now giving us shining bolts of pleasure song by song, and 'Behind a Gun' is no exception. It is built of a militaristic tattooed march which gives the song a sense of power and urgency while the guitars are buzzsaw sharp.

We are then treated to more of the sweetest sounds, an almost early '70s, 'Rumours', Laurel Canyon vibe pulses from 'I Salute You'. It is sheer joy. When you didn't think 'Self/Titled' could give much more, it finds one of the best songs on it. 'I Salute You' tells of "music salvation", and when music is delivered like this it empowers and reminds you why you keep falling in love with music. And to 'Tomorrow Can't Wait', the album's final track. The track has strong nods to latter day Beatles, but is no pastiche, closing out the album with suitable style and splendour. Like all great trips, 'Self/Titled' is at times hard and challenging, but carry through and it gives unexpected riches and amazing rewards.

Dan Potter Sings' website

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