Friday, April 09, 2004

On The Player (first of a series of record/book/movie/tv reviews)

the dB's - Stands for Decibels

When I first discovered WXYC-FM as a sophomore at UNC, "Black and White" was in heavy rotation - one of the most perfect pop songs ever written! When I found out that the dB's were sorta kinda local-ish (ok, so they were from the Triad but had to move to NYC to get any real following) I was even more hooked. Had the opportunity to see them a couple of time - Viceroy Park in Charlotte, the Cradle in Chapel Hill and opening for REM in the gym at George Washington University in DC after Stamey left the group. Their first two albums (Stands for Decibels and Repercussions) are available in a couple of different formats on one CD - that is one densely packed disc of jangle pop goodness! (I've still got the original import vinyl from Albion Records - woohoo!) In addition to Black and White, you've got Bad Reputation (not a cover of the Joan Jett song), The Fight, Espionage, Dynamite, Cycles per Second and more and more - this album probably did as much as Elvis Costello's Armed Forces to shake me out of the Boston/Kansas/Jethro Tull rut I was in during high school and as much as the Fabulous Knobs did to get my young ass into the local clubs. I'll give it a B+, only because the production is pretty crappy at times and there are a couple of less succesful songs.

Oh, and they've got a website launched last year with an active message board, samples, and an exhaustive history of the band. Worth a look.


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