Dodging Dues proves that the possibilities are still endless when it comes to Garcia Peoples’ sonic horizons.
Garcia Peoples have had a prolific output over the last few years, with each release documenting a different facet or a new stage in the evolution of their ever mutating sound. However, this record might be the biggest developmental leap for the band yet. The songs were penned and sung by a wider assortment of members and feature a more diverse range of flavors and directions.
There are many moments of racing punk energy and chopping Slade-like riffs on this album, like the thrilling “Fill Your Cup”. These more aggressive cuts reveal a sort of post-grunge grit that may have been hiding within the band’s lysergic jams all along. Hard rocking songs like “Tough Freaks” and “Stray Cats” play like outlander anthems that unite the band with their community of outsider listeners.
There are also plenty of mellowed-out, meditative moments, too, like “Here We Are,” which envelops and floats you away smoothly, like a calm river. This track soothes with gentle harmonies and melty waves of pedal steel (played by Dan Iead), before ramping up into a jagged Television-like jam that could easily cruise for an additional ten minutes.
Yet, the expanded roles and personnel are possibly what makes this record stand out from GP’s previous efforts the most. The opening track, “False Company,” is keyboardist/flautist/psych-rock renaissance man Pat Gubler’s first compositional and lead vocal contributions to the group, and it’s a ripping Richard Thompson-like stomp that allows the band to lean deeper into their darker edges.
Matt Sweeney (of Superwolf, Chavez, etc) meanwhile, took on production duties and joined in on guitar and vocals, giving the songs a stacked Wall-of-Sound sort of feel, while also sweetening the band’s already choice harmonies.
Even the inclusion of Iead’s pedal steel work elevates the atmosphere of the album. It provides an extra level of dreaminess that fits in so well, it’s hard to believe that this is the first time the instrument has appeared on a GP record.
Garcia Peoples fans and new converts alike will surely find a great deal to love about this album, so I highly recommend picking it up from No Quarter Records, ahead of its release date on Friday.