Friday, March 23, 2012
Album review: Mount Karma by Dovetail
The band reveals its imperfections, and the album is more likeable because of it.
Upon first look, the boys of Dovetail seem as if they come from another decade. Dressed in retro scarves, vests, and numerous pieces of jewelry, these fellows appear to be headed to Woodstock. But Dovetail's new album, Mount Karma, doesn’t overdo it with the late ‘60s vibe. Instead, the band lightly borrows from favorite parts of musical history, mixing it with ample parts pop.
It has been four years since the release of Dovetail’s EP Love is War, and the guys have been hard at work writing, performing, and fine-tuning the tracks that make up their first full-length album, which they are proudly releasing independently. The band has found its sound between then and now, maturing and discovering what works and what doesn’t. The harmonies are rich and pitch perfect, the sound organic.
Throughout the 12-track record, it is apparent that the boys are polished and well-versed in what it takes to make a song catchy. They move from the verse to the chorus seamlessly while drawing the listener in. Their sound is not too complicated, yet not too simple. Mount Karma walks the line and does it well.
The driving force behind the whole album is lead singer Philip Creamer’s vocals, which sound eerily similar to that of Tom Chaplin of post-Britpop outfit Keane. But unlike Chaplin, Creamer’s voice has more energy behind it – something akin to Muse’s Matthew Bellamy but less stylistically operatic and epic. Creamer can hit those high notes with ease, but when he attempts to soar to even greater vocal heights, that's when we hear him reach his limits. It's refreshing to see a vocalist who isn’t afraid of imperfection. The vocals bring a humanity to the record, as opposed to auto-tuning the flaws away. His honesty makes the record shine.
- Granada Theater
3524 Greenville Ave.
- Age limit: 14+ $15
Key tracks to listen to: “The Road,” “Mount Karma, “Hurricane,” and “Heavy.”
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