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Dupont Circles - In Search of the Family Gredunza

  by Tommy Gunnarsson

published: 22 / 12 / 2020

Dupont Circles - In Search of the Family Gredunza
Label: The Beautiful Music
Format: CD


Erratic and uneven debut album from US indie band the Dupont Circles which is a compilation of songs recorded during the past thirty years

Way back in in the mid 90s, the great US indiepop label March Records released a compilation called ‘Pop American Style’, with a bunch of amazing bands (like Rocketship, Holiday, My Favorite, The Push Kings, Tullycraft and Kleenex Girl Wonder), and towards the end of the first disc I found ‘Everywhere Girl’ by the Dupont Circles. The song was taken from the band’s debut single, ‘Sarah The Weather Girl’, released in 1995 on the small Cara label, and I quickly found their second EP, ‘The 53 Bicycle EP’, which had come out three years later. But then there was nothing. Until now. This album, or compilation you might even called it, contains recordings made by the three different incarnations of the band, from 1990 until recent years. The aforementioned singles were recorded by the first line-up, containing drummer/singer Bob Primosch, bass player/organist Kelly Ross and guitarist/organist Michael Bennet. Primosch and Bennet are the only two members that have been in all three line-ups, whereas the second one had Mike Kerwin replace Ross as bass player in 2003, and then in 2010, the trio were joined by guitarist Jonas Carnemark and organist/pianist Amit Chatterjie (the two new members also plays in the band HüsBand with Kerwin). The different line-ups have been recording every now and then during the past thirty years, and now the recordings are compiled on this CD, arranged in no order at all. The CD kicks off with ‘Everywhere Girl’, which is still a great pop song, heavily inspired by the 80’s Athens scene, and bands like REM and Dreams So Real, with its prominent bass line and jangly guitars. The rest of the songs from this early period are really good as well, like ‘My Picasso Girlfriend’ and ‘Sarah The Weather Girl’, all having a nice college rock feel to them. I’m a bit surprised to see that they weren’t produced by Mitch Easter From the “middle period”, 2003-2010, we are only treated to three songs, and they are not as good as the aforementioned bunch of songs, but they are still quite okay, with a heavy use of organs, which makes them sound a bit like The Tables, a fantastic Norwegian band that was active in more or less the same period (check them out if you haven’t already), or like Television Personalities (whose ‘How I Learned to Love the Bomb’ from 1986 is covered here)? Then we get to the latest incarnation, and this is where I lose interest in them. The band doesn’t know what kind of band they want to be, and it just makes it quite horrible for me to listen to. They decide to have a go at ‘Joke’s On Zandra’, originally written by Ed Ball and recorded with his band The Times in the mid-80s, and then two songs later they sound like a blues rock band (you know like the one in the fantastic movie ‘Ghost World’) on ‘Get Down Off My Back’ and a garage rock band on ‘On The Bus’. But not everything is pitch black here. ‘Tales of Flossie Fillet’ reminds me of Neil Innes (it’s mostly the voice, though), which is always a good thing. So, all in all, this is far too erratic to be really enjoyable. But, if you program your CD player to play the early songs, you have yourself a nice little mini- album. And that’s not too bad.

Track Listing:-
1 Everywhere Girl
2 Man in the Snuff Shop
3 Joke's on Zandra
4 Wonder
5 Get Down Off My Back
6 Tick Tock
7 Sputnik
8 My Picasso Girlfriend
9 Locked Away
10 Sarah the Weather Girl
11 On the Bus
12 53 Bicycles
13 Tales of Flossie Fillet
14 The Trip
15 How I Learned to Love the Bomb
16 Circus Theme

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