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Dressy Bessy / Saloon - Split Release

  by Gary Wollen

published: 22 / 2 / 2002



Dressy Bessy / Saloon - Split Release
Label: Track And Field
Format: 7"

intro

"Compelling and inspired coupling" from two of the bands on the Track and Field label.


What an idea to cement Anglo-American relations. 1 tour, 1 single and only 5mm less space in my record collection. The split single idea works really well when it as considered as this. Or maybe it is just a happy accident that these two acts work so well together. One is a hypnotic piece or underground rock ;the other is blissful bubblegum pop. It seems inconceivable to suggest the fact that one day Dressy Bessy may conspire to produce a duff song.It seems almost criminal to mention 12 bar blues, yes that last resort of the unimaginative, in the same review as this song, but I can’t remember a time since I first heard 'Friction' by Television that distorting 12 bar blues has seemed so vibrant and fresh. It almost seems as if a tune this instantly accessible has grabbed the band by the lapels, shaken them vigorously and demanded this instrumentation in order to accommodate it. It can’t be this simple, surely? This serves as a valid representation of their mighty 'Pink Hearts Yellow Moons' album, but more importantly, perhaps whets the appetite for their forthcoming new album, 'Sound Go Round'. I for one can hardly wait. I urged myself to write a review of Saloon without mentioning The Velvets, Stereolab, Joy Division or Kraftwork, or singer Amanda’s beautiful ethereal voice so here goes.... I must admit to something. Saloon are a slow burner. I've encountered them live once and recorded the experience. The listening pleasure has blossomed and I’ve fallen for these songs. Their singles had already wormed their way into my psyche and live they are a totally different, almost too honed, prospect. The drums skip, the guitars and bass vie for lead status and there is an organ drone that is repeated as an intro. The song builds steadily and very effectively without any notable additions to its sonic soundscape. When the vocals come in, they transport you with their haunting beauty. The guitar solo in itself justifies the price of the single as slashed chords cut across the now familiar flow of the song. In fact the thing that first detracted from the song, its sparse vocal, becomes now the central apex and poignant axis to which the entire track is perfectly framed. It’s an invigorating and unique idea which I doff my cap to. The verse is so pure and haunting that to repeat it or to recreate it for effect would quite simply undermine it and detract from it as a heavenly centrepiece. Altogether and together, a thoroughly compelling and inspired coupling well worth buying and cherishing. One word of criticism, however, to those Track and Field types.One problem rears its head time after time with this addictive release… Which side do I put on first? Decisions, decisions !



Track Listing:-
1 Dressy Bessy - Live To tell All
2 Saloon - Have You Seen The Light



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