Dialog were chosen by their management from over 1000 bands ‘to illustrate the high standard of artists’ they would be working with in the future. ‘Oh great’, thinks the wise man or woman, ‘this means they’ll sound like the Killers, only not as good, obviously.’ (The wise man or woman is a cynical old goat, jaded and resentful from years of focus-grouped indie swill dolled up as the next Smiths.) Dialog can cure that, it seems, so I doff my cynic’s cap, handing it to my gentleman’s gentleman Morrissey (I’m sure he wears it when I’m not around).
‘Feel’ is a friendly beast from the warm earth tones of Adam’s guitar to Plamen’s raspy soul-man vocals. Moz mutters from the pantry that it sounds like drive-time AOR, but neglects to mention that it has the vital ingredients to rise above that genre: real talent, a lack of winking irony and that mysterious thing, soul.
Next? It’s ‘Out of Control’, and all bets for Most Aptly Named Song of the New Century are already off. Here come Prince, Curtis Mayfield and some fantastically butch ragga toasting, and a hollering bluesman. James Brown horns peek round the corner, probably wondering what all the noise is about. Dialog chuck the kitchen sink into this, and not just theirs but yours, mine, Prince’s kitchen sink, and there’s going to be one serious lack of washing-up in the neighbourhood this morning.
Finally ‘Down Again’ could be called a pale echo of ‘Out of Control’, but then so could an acid party in Xanadu with Elvis. This kind of thing would make for a good revue and website pictures of Plamen onstage in a Freddie Mercury vest with a megaphone, support such a fantasy. I’ll give this 9 out of 10 not because it’s perfect – its loopy imperfection is one of its best points – but because it’s the most ragingly alive, exciting, excited thing I’ve heard all year.
Written by McLaughlin on