Friday, April 11, 2014

dada - puzzle - 1992

There's a funny story about dada's first album, "puzzle," regarding my friend Topher. For the longest time, he insisted that the lyric "I just tossed a fifth of gin" was, in fact, "I just tossed at Village Inn." Even after correcting him, he insisted the misheard version was better. Who I am to argue with puking at a Village Inn? (They don't even have them in California. Man, okay, that's even funnier.)

Dada are a band from L.A. with a very distinct sound - lots of buzzy guitars with desert flavor mixed with high elements of psychedelia. They're sort of the perfect L.A. sound. You can imagine dada as a band playing under neon lights while there's a thunderstorm on the wind. "Puzzle" debuted in 1992 with the song "dizz knee land," which was something of an indie hit, a sort of us-against-them anthem that connected with a lot of people my age at the time. It got the band a good amount of attention, for better or worse.

There's something so wonderfully dizzy about dada's sound, those guitars from Calio that buzz and hum, hypnotic and yet rarely meditative. But it's not like that the only appeal - Gurley's bass work is solid and interwoven, and Leavett's drum work is complex while still approachable. But what really set dada apart was the fact that both Calio and Gurley take turns at vocal duties, and the two sound similar, but are still very distinct.

dada put out four albums, broke up, got back together again, put out another album in 2004, and other than  20th anniversary tour in 2013, there hasn't been much from them, which is sad. I've always really liked the band. You should give them a  listen.

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