Dot Dash Goes Gritty with Searchlights
Dot Dash makes a wild escape from their previous escapade and the pumped-up pop of Earthquakes & Tidal Waves. The follow-up amps up their raw spirit on Searchlights, a new album that exploits the gritty factions of punk prose that stems from their founding.
For those not in the know, Dot Dash stems from a rich history of the punk and alternative stratosphere, name dropping bands like Swervedriver, Youth Brigade, Julie Ocean, Minor Threat, Government Issue, The Saturday People and more. The thing is, this four-piece sounds everything and nothing like any of these bands. It’s experience and talent that seeps into Dot Dash’s music. The style is purely their own as a conglomerate.
When you listen to “The Winter of Discontent” from Earthquakes you immediately notice the alt-pop boost and their confidence is based on a production sheen that coats the album. What happens now is that the band has stripped away the polish and let their music shine through a dirty lens. This band wins both ways because the way they interpret and express their pop music is equally perceptive to the times. But it’s a refreshing feeling to be able to associate most of the songs on Searchlights can point to everything Husker Du did in the most positive way. “10,000 Days” screams Bob Mould raw alt-punk mold that creates a dust storm of raucous and driving punk within the three-minute pop framework. What Dot Dash can prove on this album is that they can intermingle punk with pop and maintaining grit. The best example is with “Crumbs,” a bedroom ballad that is still punk rock cocky much like The Damned is to pop. This is where this band feels most comfortable.
I like Searchlights in a complete different way I like Earthquakes. They both serve different purposes and the only common denominator is Terry Banks, Hunter Bennett, and Danny Ingram who together make up the mantra that gives you glimpses of historical perspective through a new lens. Don’t look for novelty here because ingenuity wins and every one of these 15 songs are worth your time.