Release Date: Sep 27, 11
San Francisco’s Dominant Legs’ full-length debut, Invitation, is a tough sell at first. The poppy sound was almost too sweet to handle and it is easy tune out the overblown saccharine sound. The songs seem to blend together and there is nothing that really excites you. But the more you listen you can catch the tiny hooks that each song has and you become obsessed with it for about three listens. At the point, it becomes a slightly better than average indie pop/folk record.
Comprised of mainly Ryan Lynch, guitarist for Girls, and keyboardist Hannah Hunt, an actual girl, Invitation is just that; an invite to join their dreamy pop world. It is a world where the world didn’t get quite enough pop music in the 80s, everyone owns a keyboard and not a distortion pedal can be found for miles.
Every band says, “Oh man, we influenced by the Beatles, Zeppelin, The Stones…” the list goes on. But very rarely do you actually hear their homage to these influences in their sound. That is not the case with DL. “Take a Bow” is ripped straight out of 70s disco, “Make Time for the Boy” is a charming update to 50s doo-wop and after hearing “Where We Trip the Light” you will want to listen to Paul Simon’s Graceland. I guarantee it.
Instrumentally, the songs are extremely lo-fi. Vocals hide behind jangly guitars as keyboards and synths dominate the landscape and it is impressive that with such limited sound that such memorable songs could be written. The hooks are very good. Nothing like “Thriller” mind you, but the songs are dance-y enough to not be annoying and but weird enough to remind you you aren’t listening to a top 40 single. It is a very fine balance many bands should be jealous of.
Aside from the fact Lynch never seems to change his facial expression, even in the whole video for “Hoop of Love,” he does a pretty good job stepping out of the Girls spotlight and leading the sound despite his trite and boarder-line annoying lyrics. “2 New Thoughts About U” is a pretty well written melodically but is pretty much ruined by the title.
Overall, I am not sure how much staying power this will have for me. True, it is fun and catchy and it makes me bob my head, but it doesn’t do much past that.