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Album of the Week: Dent May, 'Do Things'
Mississippi native Dent May has genre-jumped from cowboy-psych to ukulele tunes and all around from there. Now the southern eclecticist has put together a record of '80s synth pop, with dinky drum programming, ultra-compressed guitar sounds, puffed-up "funk" bass and TV-soundtrack keyboard washes all glazed with Beach Boys vocal harmonies. A lot of bands have dipped into the Brian Wilson well for billowy singing tricks and orchestration tips, but few take it in this direction. Here Dent May brings to mind the Welsh psych-pop-pastiche-makers Super Furry Animals. This is what happens when talented musicians hole up in their remote homes and go down a sonic rabbit hole. Fans of Grandaddy, Neon Indian and "Abracadabra"-era Steve Miller Band will find twisted nuggets of pop pleasure to paw over here. The song "Parents" contains the funny chorus: "Dare us/We'll do anything, you will not scare us/'Cause we don't wanna be just like our parents." Meanwhile, this is music that sounds very much like what Dent May's parents might have listened to. This would have once been called "cheesy," but we've entered a post-cheese era, or, if not that, at least one where there are new levels of appreciation for it.
By John Adamian
June 27, 2012