Well, if all else fails, Dome Dwellers, with their psychedelic artwork and crudely drawn geodesic domes, have brilliant artwork for their discs. Happily, all else doesn’t fail, and it transpires that Dome Dwellers deal in herbal-scented pop music that sounds not unlike Kings of Leon covering the flaming lips in a kettle, surrounded by a plethora of mind-expanding drugs. It’s kind of bizarrely awesome and yet for all the world, aside from giving you a contact high, when it finishes you’ll be entirely unsure why you like it, but you’ll also want to play it again… loud. Weird.
Opening with the schizophrenic ‘lie down’, dome dwellers opens with an airy piece that sounds like Jeff Buckley on a fuzz-pedal laden trip into Sonic Youth territory. Swerving wildly between the twin beaks of psychedelic pop and out-and-out stoner aggression, it’s one of those tracks that can’t help to bring to mind the freak-show spazz outs of Sonic Youth at their peak, and the influence of the Velvets is never far from mind. ‘Bellied up’ is a delightfully frazzled piece of unhinged rock that trips on a sweet melody and guitar playing that threatens to fall apart at any moment. ‘Say it ain’t so’ should be piped in to prisons across the world in order to reduce inmate violence with its charming guitars sounding like a psychedelic representation of Fugazi unplugged, if you can imagine such a thing. With Cullen Dean’s bass playing an important role underpinning Michael J Slack’s flights of art-rock fancy and David Gore apparently imagining he’s in a jazz band, the music takes all manner of unexpected deviations and it’s a simple pleasure to try to anticipate what the band will do next. ‘Polymath’ is similarly uninhibited, the band flailing away at their instruments, seemingly with complete abandon, even whilst some of the dynamics at the heart of the song are delivered with a precision that belies the slacker sound of the record. The song collapses in a welter of noise and segues neatly into the ‘song of self-assurance’, which sounds like it was written and recorded in a toy factory such is the sense of joy it emits.
The sense of the bizarre continues on ‘Crazy talk’, a sparkling gem that crackles with energy and nods thirteenth floor elevators as played by pavement whilst ‘carnivores’ is a frothy piece of throwaway pop that wouldn’t sound out of place on a meat Puppets record… if the meat puppets recorded with Scottish noiseniks Urusei Yatsura, a notion further reinforced by the speaker-destroying finale. The final track, ‘my halo’, closes the album with backwards-masked sounds and echo-drenched guitar, the band clearly revelling in one last chance to take the listener on a journey into the unknown where marshmallow jellyfish float past candyfloss sheep amidst walls of blazing Marshall amps.
Dome Dwellers are one of those bands that adhere to no other rules than their own. Their music harnesses echoes of alt-rock’s most unhinged bands and combines them with the ghosts of the psychedelic seventies, always sounding fresh, inventive and fun. They’re the sort of band you’ll want to play to your friends and the sort of band that will (and deserve to) inspire a loyal following that will undoubtedly cross oceans to see them play live. For sure they’re a band who’ll divide opinion, with their oddball humour, unhinged guitar work and joyous melodies, but then the best bands do. ‘Maybe I should have some pride’ is a great record that’ll leave you with a huge smile on your face – gloriously, wonderfully unique, it has no immediate peers and it’s simply a joyous experience from its atypical start to its distortion-laden conclusion. Find this gem before it vanishes!