Sometimes the hype around a band is worth the attention. Dasher( like the blender blade, not the reindeer) ground up the drunken unicorn last night, proving to me why the buzz around the band is so big. Their music heaps a bunch of classic and post-punk influences together and grinds them into a chunky mix which has gotten the band heaps of attention. I found out about them this summer when they were featured in Stomp and Stammer, a local music paper. I listened to “Go Rambo” once, thought it sounded ok, and forgot about them. Later in the summer their prominent feature in Creative Loafing jogged my memory, and I learned after a quick Google that Spin and Pitchfork have been covering their releases as well. Finally, I read in the Deer Bear Wolf Weekly ( a must read for ATL concert goers) that they were having a show at the Drunken Unicorn, and decided to go so I could see what the fuss was about.
The result was electrifying. Their live show made it instantly clear why they;ve garnered so much press. Dasher would have stood out from the other hardcore bands even if their name wasn’t at the top of the lineup. Drummer/Singer/HBIC Kylie Kimbrough gives the same piercing looks from her drum kit (placed center stage because she’s the boss) as she does in the video. The entire show she sat bolt upright at her kit while whipping her hair across her face, pounding the shit out of her drums, and bellowing into the mic. The echo effect on her voice was more prominent live, which I briefly found baffling. By the second song, I was digging how it helped her create a dark cavernous edge to the noise her band( featuring Bobby Michaud on bass and Kelly Stroup on Guitar) whipped up. Their stark songs feel ready to mow someone down, as opposed to noisy for the sake of noise. Watching her stare over the crowds head at some unforeseen figure, Kimbruogh was magnetizing, and it’s clear that if she can keep her band together their going to rip the indie/post-punk scene a new one.
What attracts me is how authentic the band feels. Kimbrough got the idea of lead single “Go Rambo” from mishearing Patti Smith singing “Go Rembuald”, but the resulting track is remarkably similar to Bela Leguosi’s dead” by Bauhaus. This kind of upfront fandom reflects the accessibility of their sound, not in the sense that it’s radio friendly, but in the sense that you can hear what influences their working from. Anyone who loves those bands could whip up these kind of songs, provided they had the spitfire that Dasher does of course. It gives the music and their live show a thrilling sense of possibility. Seeing them, you know you could start a band that could share the same stage.
As I listened to “Go Rambo” in my bedroom today, I thought about how empowering and exciting their show was, the way punk should be.
Listening in the doorway, my dad called in “it’s a little much” and made me turn it down.
You can buy Dashers music via their Bandcamp, and look out for them on tour in your town come fall/winter. Rumour has it they’ll be putting out a full length album sometime before then. Also Bobby Michaud if you are reading this I’m single and down. Here is a picture of me wearing your bands shirt because I am a groupie.