DUMMY – ” Mandatory Enjoyment “

Posted: August 6, 2021 in MUSIC
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Does it still count as keeping it simple if the one thing you’re trying to achieve is actually pretty complicated? Dummy’s music suggests that, actually, it does not. The Los Angeles band’s mission statement could fit on a bumper sticker – fuse avant-garde musical elements with the building blocks of guitar-based pop music – but its Tilt-A-Whirl execution on their debut album bleeds beyond those borders into something maximalist and wonkily thrilling.

Melding the driving momentum of krautrock with the textural mayhem of Can, the grubby eccentricity of the Velvets and the gilt-edged melodies of the Byrds, “Mandatory Enjoyment” follows up a brace of cassette releases by doing something different all the time. We caught up with band members Nate and Joe – who split guitar duties (Jazzmaster and Jaguar respectively) with vocals and keys – to pull at a few threads.

More goodies this year from the ranks of Trouble in Mind Records. The label announced this morning that they’ve up Los Angeles. pop combo Dummy. The band’s had a couple of well-received tapes out in the last couple of years and they make the jump to a debut LP blowing through the vernal psych-pop gardens that nurtured Broadcast, Vanishing Twin, and Stereolab while stumbling the noise pop alley for a tussle with Hangman’s Beautiful Daughters (the band, not the album) and Snapper.

The first cut from the album skews a bit more towards the psych-pop impulses, letting an effervescent beat push the song along while overdriven keys and silken vocals do the heavy lifting. The band is channelling their influences in a way that feels refreshing — a glorious head-on collision of pop and pummel that explodes with caffeinated colour. Mandatory Enjoyment is out October 22nd.

In contrast to blissed-out instrumentation, Dummy’s sardonic lyricism examines “the burden of modern life, consumerism, environmental collapse, alienation, and other anxieties born out of living in this absurd moment in history”. Interior design, marine pollution, the psychology of commercial architecture, and nuclear testing are all featured subjects. Dummy’s restless creativity keeps them moving ever-forward, continuously challenging themselves and pushing their sound into exciting and exhilarating places. This is – as the album title suggests – “Mandatory Enjoyment”. 

Releases October 22nd, 2021

Dummy: Alex, Emma, Joe & Nathan.

Taken from the band’s debut full-length album “Mandatory Enjoyment”, out October 22nd, 2021 via Trouble In Mind Records

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