, the third album by Australian 5-piece Dappled Cities, opens up rattley and electronic and instantly brings to mind a pretty extensive collection of other post-punk revival bands, especially Interpol. They have the same limp-wristed guitar, sleepy disco drums and dark synth as Interpol and their vocals are pretty astoundingly similar too. The similarities stand out especially in track 2, "Answer Is Zero".
But that doesn't mean Dappled Cities are unoriginal, they're just working with a limited pallet. And where a lot of bands fail they actually find a really nice area to work in. Dappled Cities does a really nice job of finding a brightness that you wouldn't expect from a post-punk band by mixing touches of disco and new wave into something with a lot of melody, but more importantly, a lot of personality.
Unfortunately though, after every couple tracks on Zounds
, there's a new older band that you're reminded of more than Dappled Cities, like the gang chants of "Wooden Ships" bringing up uncomfortable memories of Franz Ferdinand or "Miniature Alas" sounding exactly like Nightmare Of You. Dance rock isn't a very nuanced genre, but there is new ground being broken on it by other acts, not just on Zounds
In a younger band it'd be more forgivable, but Dappled Cities' first album A Smile
came out nine years ago. So for every really great track like "The Price" or "Slow For Me, My Island", there's a toss-away like "The Night Is Young At Heart" that questions their discretion.
Dappled Cities clearly knows how to write great dance tracks with really nice personal hook, but it's disappointing that they weren't a bit more forward with it. -Ryan Broderick
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MP3:"The Price" - Zounds
Dappled Cities on Myspace