Friday, October 27, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 389 - dada - American Highway Flower

Album – American Highway Flower
Artist - dada
Key Players – Michael Gurley – guitar and vocals.  Joie Calio – bass and vocals. Phil Leavitt - drums
Produced By – Jason Corsaro and dada

Release Date- September 30, 1994

Overview – This is the second album released from the California based trio.

FDF Comments (aka “the songs”) – The 58 minute, 13 song album opens with “Ask the Dust”.  Right away Leavitt gets over on the ride cymbal as Calio walks the bass over it.  The song has a “Police” feel to it with the bass and drum, and the guitar is almost the third instrument you hear, even though Gurley gets around it pretty well on the track and towards the end really steps up, leading to the fade out.  The band is tight and has great harmonies on “Feet to the Sun” and it rumbles forward with one of the singles “All I Am” and the infectious harmonies on the chorus really stand out.  The tension that slowly builds in the latter part of the track really gives it a punch and once again Gurley shines on guitar. “Scum” begins with just acoustic guitar and solo voice and then switches to an electric guitar quick burst.  By the second verse there are strings and a fuller “feel” but there are no drums.  By the third verse the drums return, and the song swerves in and out of electric and acoustic.  Leavitt gets to call the shots as “Pretty Girls Make Graves” opens.  The kit sounds thunderous and the ringing guitars are a great touch.  The vocals are a bit subtle, but as the chorus approaches the band swells to a much fuller sound. Almost “per the norm” there is a great little guitar solo.  The band likes to mix up the use of electric and acoustic guitars again and “Gogo” is evident of that.  “Feel Me Don’t You” is a heavier track and the band settles back a little on “Real Soon”, but that is short as come the second verse the bands opens up with that ‘big’ sound they seem to be able to generate with ease and as the track continues the frantic vocals add to the aura.  “S.F. Bar ‘63” has some vocal effects that make it feel different.  Musically it is what you’ve gotten used to thus far.  We mellow it out on “8 Track” and get back to the vibe of the record on “Green Henry”.  Hey, this track has that cymbal that goes “sploosh” when you hit it after all and the great guitar work resurfaces.  Settle down spell check the next tune is “i”.  A little more laid back track, yet still complex musically enough to be interesting.  The record closes with “Heaven and Nowhere”, again with a  great guitar solo to close it out.

Where are they now? -  The band is currently doing a 25th anniversary tour.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? – I’ll be honest, I did their debut record on this site ages ago. See for yourself ( Here) This was just something I knew I hadn’t listened to in a long while, and it’s a lot of fun. These guys are great musicians, the songs are fun…it’s just a “good” record.

Links, find out more, follow em, buy
Wiki Page
Buy It!


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