Generally, my overwhelming distaste for the cocaine-fuelled exuberance of my hometown’s current “it” band, Thunderbirds Are Now!, clouds my judgment of similar sounding no-wave bands. However, with Dune Phase, I’m able to spot the talent behind the uber-hipster posturing. Watchers have acted as James Chance’s backing band on his recent tours, and it shows through on the innovative use of restraint on “Mono Mano,” which is little more than percussion with a few spare guitar lines to stitch it all together. The slightly lesser, but still enjoyable “Blik ‘Em” benefits as well from the inclusion of abstract percussion and danceable rhythms. The band keeps the interest piqued for the five studio tracks, but the two lazy remixes tacked on at the end of the EP are glaringly unnecessary and mar the group’s previous statements of immediacy with redundancy. Though not essential by any means, if you’re looking for a quick fifteen minute dance party, here’s your ticket.
Gern Blandsten: www.gernblandsten.com