Dao Son For, The - The Dao Son For

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Country Club Records
Catalog Number: CC0101
Format: CD
Total Time: 36:31:00

With the first track, "The Sprawler," you think you're in for some funky, jazzy, avant-garde music ? and the first track is just that, with frenetic bass and percussion throbbing and snickering away at a quick pace. Over this are subtle keyboard washes. Who came to mind? French TV, Eyestrings, a lively Djam Karet, many others ? It's quite an exciting instrumental piece. You're ready for the remaining the delights on offer.

Um? sadly nothing else on The Dao Son For's self-titled release matches that excitement. Instead we get track after track of moody, broody, hipster modern rock that appeals more to the twenty-something Gap set. It's depressing and plodding at times; drowsy, I guess ? subtly throbbing bass, subtly snickering drums, a few 60s-guitar tones, the occasional breath of keyboards. "Co-Work Co" has vocals so quiet you barely notice them, just a jangly guitar and slowly throbbing bass. (Um, you can ditto this description for many of the album's tracks). Which is just as well, as they aren't great? The next track is "Lee Corado" raw, punky, wheezy (literally) garage rock. It's arty, to be sure, but perhaps just a little too arty, if you know what I mean. It's that hip-cool thing again, twenty-somethings in wrinkled, baggy or ill-fitting clothes (oh, not the gangsta rap baggy look, mind? no pants three miles below the ass). They look comfortable, to be sure, but you want them really to have a bit better dress sense, you know. Slackers, I guess? I don't know. I hate labels? (they scratch for one thing). Maybe I've entered the "old fart" stage of my life now, being on the outer edge of thirty-something? I don't know. I just found this album made me tense and irritable? The closing track made me think of Nirvana if only a little more perky owing to the chirpy, parpy keyboard effects. I like parpy keyboard effects? they're proggy! Only not so much so here.

Oh, they try to bring back that first thrill with the 60s-esque, psychedelic-garage rock intro and outro to "Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars" but? alas it leads to more dreary rock. This piece does make me think of Discipline, but by the time you get here, track 5, you are very ultra-mellow (maybe even slipped off the edge into depression). "The Drawler" shows more life and is more interesting? avant-garde and quirky. "Yumi Katura" is another track that stands out and being at least mildy interesting? nicely chiming tart guitar and very retro? this time to the 80s conjuring the 60s? and the bubbling, country, southwesty, "spaghetti western"-like "La Valencia Hotel" has that whimsical flair one might expect from California Guitar Trio and not just because guitars take the lead here. You'll even find some vague references to? well, "Theme From Peter Gunn" came to mind momentarily, along with some spooky keyboard effects (sounds like a theremin, but none is specifically credited).

In the end, The Dao Son For ? Peanut Castro on bass and vocals, Roosevelt Goldberg on guitar and vocals, Watson Robb on keyboards and guitar and Pee-Wee Walls on drums -- turn out to be more alternative rock than progressive. While that is not a condemning factor ? I've liked Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden (so I'm not anti-grunge? garage? whatever the kids are calling it these days. ;-)) ? I just can't seem to get very excited by what I'm hearing. And even if you were to say they were influenced by Nirvana? the don't seem to have the spark Nirvana had? way too dreary? and this from someone who likes dark metal (Sentenced, Nevermore, etc). I'd say this album owes a lot to the Radiohead factor too, I guess. The instrumentals ? the tracks I mentioned favorably ? are much better than the vocal tracks? but really, we're talking 3 or 4 tracks out of 9?

The Sprawler / Co-Work Co. / Lee Corado / The Crawler / Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars / The Drawler / Yumi Katura / La Valencia Hotel / Tent Living

Peanut Castro - bass and vocals
Roosevelt Goldberg - guitar and vocals
Watson Robb - keyboards and guitar
Pee-Wee Walls - drums

The Dao Son For (2002)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: November 1st 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.daosonfor.com
Hits: 1123
Language: english


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