Review: The Dissonics Expertly Modernize Brit-Pop on Evolver


Blasting out of Bellingham with their new album Evolver (released January 1st, 2016), power pop band The Dissonics has a sound more associated with the north of London than the north of Seattle. Channeling the Kinks, The Small Faces and Oasis, the trio of Jon Memolo on guitar, vocals, and keyboards, Sean Meyer on bass guitar and vocals, and drummer Phil Carter deliver ten new tracks of rocking fun.

Evolver kicks off with the rambling groover “Everybody,” which is simultaneously muscular and tender. The aptly-titled “1971” is straight out of the David Bowie glam rock songbook.  “My Woes” mixes swing and grunge together nicely, while the rollicking “Another Day of Love” features jaunty piano from Memolo and a bopping bass line for an infectious stew. The Beatles-esque “Atmospheres” weighs in at a perfect pop song length of 2:50. All is not sunshine and daisies, though, as the minor key piano basher “Killer” digs into the dark places of a man’s soul. Phil Carter flails away doing his best Keith Moon as the power chords chime for the rocking “Someday.”

The sound gets a bit more modern as the trio visits the reverb-laden 80’s brit-pop era for “Lady Shangri la,” and “Die For Something.” The album’s closer “Hold You Down” is a tempo-shifting rocker with some interesting twists and turns. The Dissonics have done their homework, and are at their best when sticking to the fun stuff and leaving the doom and gloom behind.

(You can purchase Evolver via The Dissonics’ Bandcamp page.)

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Rick Bowen

Rick grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan playing in school band, choir and show bands. While earning a BA at Western Michigan University in History and Social Science, he was a member of the Bronco marching band and jazz ensemble Gold Company. Moving to the Northwest in 1994, Rick soon landed gigs and sessions with many diverse local artists and is currently a member of the award winning Stacy Jones Band and the host of the all ages School of Jam. Rick is also an associate producer and session musician for Critical Sun Recordings, a contributing writer at Innocent Words, Seattle Examiner, No Depression, The Washington Blues Society and S.T.E.A.M magazine, and serves on the board of directors for the Washington Blues Society. Rick is endorsed by and plays THUMPER CUSTOM DRUMS. Awards: Washington Blues Society “Best of the Blues” award 2009 Best New Band –Stacy Jones Band WBS “Best of the Blues” award 2012 Best Blues Jam - Oxford Saloon Monday Night Jam 2013 & 2014 WBS Best Blues Writer award. 2014 WBS Chris Leighton Blues Drummer BB Award. Nominations: 2009 & 2013 Best Blues Drummer WBS BB awards. 2012 Best NW recording “No Need To Spell it Out –Stacy Jones Band (Rick J Bowen co producer)

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