You don’t need a PhD in Morse code from Dartmouth to know that “Dot Dash” translates to, simply, the letter “A” (although the degree certainly helps – I have one anyway). So “A” the band, or Dot Dash, thinks they’re smarter than me? I’ll show them! They’ve got a new album out, Earthquakes & Tidal Waves (on Ottawa’s The Beautiful Music label), which translates to “. .- .-. – …. –.- ..- .- -.- . … .- -. -.. – .. -.. .- .-.. .– .- …- . …” in Morse code. Bet you didn’t know that, Dot Dash. Bet you didn’t know that.
Sorry, I’m not here to belittle anyone, or flaunt my degree in the music press, so let’s get on with this song, shall we? In fact, I’m doing the opposite of belittling because “The Winter of Discontent” pretty much encapsulates everything you want out of a lead single and album-opening track. It’s got that equal parts Replacements, equal parts Weston vibe, pop punky, but not dickish pop punky. (You know who I mean.) It’s got a “yeah, woo-ooo-ooo” chorus that you can sing along to with the windows open and the top down in your convertible. It’s got the universally relatable lyrics that all good singles have: “The winter of discontent to the summer of love / with trouble bubbling under, and sunshine up above, yeah!” Yeah indeed! Perma-chorus!
The band members have the pedigree too – check out that “ex-member of” list: ex-Julie Ocean, ex-The Saturday People, ex-Minor Threat, ex-Youth Brigade. Wait, ex-Minor Threat? Holy Derek Jeter’s Venerable Gold Glove – is that Steve Hansgen on lead guitar? The Steve Hansgen? Also of Government Issue fame? Sweet merciful crap, that was a heckuva wrangle there, Dot Dash. Well done. (What, the Jeter thing? I only swear to the baseball gods now that my precious Phillies suck a big one.)
So, to sum up, the band has cred, and hooks. And “The Winter of Discontent” is available for free download, don’t you know. (So is “Rainclouds,” which I’ve also embedded, but I’m not talking about “Rainclouds,” so there.) Cop that, cop “. .- .-. – …. –.- ..- .- -.- . … .- -. -.. – .. -.. .- .-.. .– .- …- . …” – er, I mean Earthquakes & Tidal Waves, and get your summer on. Or don’t download it, what do I care.
(Disclaimer: Portions of this post were lifted directly from the wonderful blurb I wrote about Dot Dash’s album for their music licenser, Bank Robber Music. So before you go crying “Plagiarism!,” you better check yo self.)
RIYL: The Replacements, Nada Surf, Weston, Beach Slang