Dressy Bessy – Fast Faster Disaster
“Everything is alright now now!” And with that scream Dressy Bessy launch their seventh full length album. From anyone else such an exclamation would border on platitude. In the rising pinwheel daisies and cotton candy landscape of Dressy Bessy, the top of the green hill allows for the declaration of little else.
Fast Faster Disaster is the latest installment of their 20-year oeuvre. To their credit Dressy Bessy have never really deviated from their successful formula. The distorted barre chords of lead singer/songwriter Tammy Ealom and the dancing guitar stabs of John Hill combine to form the perfect confection of pop rock and harsh sounding good vibes. With drummer Craig Gilbert with them since 2005, they continue to create a big low-fi sound that is all their own.
“Fearless” kicks off Fast Faster Disaster with rototom shots dancing around Ealom’s spitting vocals. Songs like “Stay True” showcase Ealom’s penchant for classy percussion insertions. With a ’60s style throwback, little shakers and tambourines accent various beats and stay out of the way of both the drummer and the rest of the ensemble. Hill’s guitar figures dart around the bottom of the sonic palette creating DayGlo imagery and candy cane spirals. Throughout the album lost love, broken hearts, classroom angst and girl power all make their lyrical appearance.
An acoustic guitar and cowboy chords make a rare appearance on “Mon Chéri.” Ealom can provide a full-throated bellow and a sugarcoated purr…like many women in rock, her feminine charms are employed in diverse and disparate ways. She is the full visual and aural package…writing all the songs and creating the artwork. It is a fun synthesis how the two play alongside each other. The songs seem to provoke cartoon colors of puppy dogs and sunflowers and the album artwork suggests melodic tones and from smooth to jagged sonic edges.
Fellow tour mate and musician friend Scott McCaughey, who recently recovered from a stroke, receives a dedication in the form of “The Real McCoy.” “This is not the end/ The sun behind and above you/ So power up and play us something/ Tower up we’ll all be listening/ Let it warm up/ Let it rock!” Also receiving a nod is Pete Shelley from the Buzzcocks who recently passed away – Fast Faster Disaster closes with his ”What Do I Get?”
After their two regional May concerts highlighted this new album, Fast Faster Disaster well represents the magical trajectory that is Dressy Bessy. And yes, everything is alright now!
Fast Faster Disaster