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Dumb - "Seeing Green" | Album Review


by Corey Sustarich

Loose and mesmerizing, this artful concept album is carried by a tight rhythm section that never fails to bring the head to a dizzying bob. Lyrical motifs of growth, envy, greed, and inexperience are tried and true to the genre and roll off the tongue with honest clarity. Two guitars wobble through each other as dry as a bone half the time and covered in fuzz and modulation the other half. Every song is a quick thumper and a foot tapper. Characteristic syncopation, loose talking vocals, break-wrist strumming patterns, dogged lyrics, and glimmers of jangly earworm melodies make Dumb’s Seeing Green a truly profound record.

"Romeo" and "Barnyard" start us off with un-manipulated guitar until the no-frills, booming, drums and magnetic bass dunk our heads in before we can dip our toes. Attitude and persistent vocal timbre pull through this album’s fourteen debouch tunes. Spastic strumming, chunky fuzz, and thirsty snare hits cut right to the front on "Power Trip" and create the desired resound. "Artfact" and "Cowboy" sing to the less conventional and embody the angular shifts of art rock. "Soft Seam" displays another side of the band with a softer approach to their running guitar hooks and crux rhythms. The melodies on "Magistrate" and "Roast Beef" are astir with human emotion and persistent beauty and typify their self-described “playful dissonant ditties.” 

Each song carries themes of unabashed punk music. What makes this album unique is its quick phasing from pop to noise and back again, intricate rhythms, lyrical candor, and instrumental punctuation. Each pluck of a string, snare hit, and vocal flair sparks and ricochets off the other at a sheer angle like sparks from a hammer on rough concrete. Yet feet tap and bodies bounce through the well-orchestrated clamor. You can taste the sweat, feel the audience packed tight, and hear that this album is a valuable pastiche of art punk.