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CD of The Week

Week of 7/29/19

    Dude York - Falling (Hardly Art)

    Dude York has made one of the most fun, sonically focused albums of the year with Falling. After an energetic three records, the band realized the secret power to both songwriting and content is in relationships. Before Falling, bassist Claire England fronted just five songs in their catalog. But on the new record, England and guitarist Peter Richards share equal front-line time, utilizing harmonies that recall '90's emo mixed with catchy '80's power-pop. They lean on each other equally, strengthening their musical relationship, giving the band a stronger focus.

    Falling is organized like a high school debate club weighing the pros and cons of teenage relationships. Opening argument "Longest Time" starts with Richards' electro-acoustic guitar and England on vocals, fawning over how to turn a crush into a reality. The follow-up "Box" is a Cure-like track with Richards on vocals declaring his emotional resignation from ever loving again. Then England fronts the positive team, retorting with the poppy "I'm the 1 4 U" offering love or friendship – whatever the song's muse desires. Team post-relationship steps up with England again on "Should've," delivering a reflective laundry list of memories and actions that could have saved a romance. Richards counters with a sludgy Weezer-influenced power-pop track "Only Wish," questioning how to express love to an unsuspecting recipient. England plays that recipient on the fast-paced "Unexpected."

    The debate rages on, and when the album ends, one can conclude that the relationship on trial could also be about music. England said she grew up with pop-punk and alt-rock, yet she wanted to make it her own. In the album bio, she revealed that she was "trying to capture the feeling of the music I listened to when I fell in love with music." On the title track, England sings "that song means everything to me" in a style that is somewhere between Paramore and Swearin'. Other inspiration comes from The Shins on the strummy ":15," Gin Blossoms on the jangly "Doesn't Matter," and they even throw in Ramones lyrics on the pessimistic loser's mantra "How It Goes."

    There is enough genre-diversity on the record to keep the listener entertained, finding something new with each listen. Dude York has hit their sweet spot with this album, so go see them knock it out of the park at one of Everybody Hits' final shows on September 21st.
    Review by Shepard Ritzen

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