BY DANNY R. PHILLIPS
Waiting is the hardest part.
After three eps, nearly two years and countless shows stretching from the band’s hometown of St. Joseph, Mo to New York to a set at this year’s SXSW festivities in Austin, the Midwest hailing Dsoedean (pronounced DEE-SO-DEEN) have finally readied their debut Continue to Move for release upon the world. It is indeed worth the wait.
Loaded with sometimes neurotic songs stacked upon the shaky foundations of tension, longing, manic depression and joy, “Move” is everything fans of indie rock would want in a record; an explosive, fragile being that’s not afraid to be sad and funny all at once. The album opens with “Daylight,” a track built upon the pounding drums of Bobby Floyd that give way to frontman Zale Bledsoe vocals and lyrics like “I fell in love with a girl I don’t know/read about her in a book/liked what she wrote.” Bledsoe’s vocals come on like a mutate combination of Doug Marsh of Built to Spill, Isaac Brock and Conor Oberst; while this combination could, in the wrong hands, pose the potential to be endlessly annoying, it works perfectly for Bledsoe and only compliments the rise and fall of his lyrics.
“Remainder One” has all the slow swagger and sway of a brooding spaghetti western soundtrack. Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Colby Walter works his guitar and effects in minimalist terms: just enough, no real flash, a bit of atmosphere. Like the home invasion specialist Goldilocks said, “not too hard, not too soft, this one is just right.” Throughout the album, bassist Marcus Words commands the low end, fitting everything together like a jigsaw puzzle champion. He knows his job and does it well.
Of all the tracks on Continue to Move, the one that comes in the middle of the record, a palate cleanser if you will is perhaps my favorite. It is the Primus funk inspired number “When the Bankers Go to Lunch” that takes the cake. “Bankers” shows the band at their weirdo finest; spaced out vocals, Walter caressing and coaxing saxophone sounds from his guitar with help of an e-bow. Words laying down a groove that would make Bootsy Collins proud, tempo changes on a dime and Floyd showing why he is one of the most fun drummers in the Midwest to both listen to and watch. “Bankers” is a stone cold ass shaker.
Continue to Move has passed through many a hand since its inception. It was tracked superbly by producer Kiley Bodenhamer, mixed by Chad Hinge of Kindell Studios in Brooklyn Park, MN and then mastered by Albert Born. While the “too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the soup” adage often rings true when it comes to records, Move seems to be one of those rare exceptions. All the songs have a consistency, a flow from one to another and the recording represents the energy and drive of the band’s live performances to a T.
Continue to Move is a great start to what could be a nice, long career for Dsoedean. I am very curious to see where they head next in their history book. I just hope I don’t have to wait so long for the next chapter.
DOWNLOAD: “Daylight” “When the Bankers Go to Lunch” “Continue to Move”