Last week I argued that we’ve reached the point where building your band around guitars automatically marks your sound as retro, and here’s an example of why that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Van Dale is a rock trio from Columbus featuring two members of Way Yes, a group that tends to combine warm synth tones, global rhythms and twee songwriting into something that sounds very in-step with the definitive indie bands of its day; they draw frequent comparisons to Animal Collective and Vampire Weekend. Van Dale’s approach, on the other hand, is as back-to-basics as it gets, deploying drums, bass, and loads of guitar in the pursuit of melodically charged alt-rock straight out of 1994. Think Weezer, Pavement, and Built To Spill. “Bed Of Bricks (Isn’t It)” is one of several tracks on Van Dale’s self-titled debut that sound like the blue stuff at 96 percent purity — not that Heisenberg blue, that Rivers Cuomo blue. The melody is laid on thick, the distortion even thicker. It’s basically the love child of “The World Has Turned And Left Me Here” and “Say It Ain’t So,” and if that sounds as sublime to you as it does to me, you ought to check it out below.
Van Dale is out now digitally and 10/8 on vinyl, both through Bandcamp.
[Photo by Nick Fancher]