Garage League – Dance, Humans!

At first glance of Garage League’s album, Dance, Humans!, I thought, “Well that’s a lot of songs for one album.” Naturally, my next observation was song lengths. “Oh, okay, they’re all pretty short.” The song titles seemed like I was about to be told a wonderful story and I was very excited to dive in. 

The avant-garde melody, “Overture,” turns into a pop riff for the length of a sneeze and sets the tone for this adventure. The band is frantic and fun, immediately giving me King Tuff vibes. I really dig the guitar tone that comes along with this style of rock. The rhythms make me think of Devo and Alan Meyers is one of my favorite drummers. I love that tight, locked in beat.

Well Then starts to offer something slightly different. The bridge has a textured break from the drive that is the rest of it. This song reminds me of Through Being Cool by They Might Be Giants (which also sounds more Devo than it does TMBG). The album merges garage with new wave and it really sucks you in to keep listening.

My Baby Took the KKK Away is a solid song title. It begins slow and sludgy, that throaty bass tone forces you to make a face like you smell something bad, but in a good way. The vocal timbre and rhythm is reminiscent of Kurtis Blow, creating a kind of playground chant.  

A few quick songs later, and we’re into a chunk of tunes that are all over one minute. 

Dinosaur Dreams immediately reminded me of Minutemen. The riff and the guitar tone, and then joined by the bass and drums. The vocal rhythm fills the holes that the strings dug, and it is just a great head bopper of a track.

Garage League found its stride in the beginning of the middle. The songs start to take on a pop structure, and you get more time to digest what you’re listening to before it shifts to a new tune. The tracks are now becoming dancier. I can imagine myself spilling my beer while I am jumping around to these at a show.

The album progresses with more of the same, for lack of a better term. I do not mean that the songs are repetitive and monotonous, but they seem to purposely flow to create one long song out of several short tracks. I had clicked off Bandcamp in order to listen while making notes, and I thought that there were several movements within one track. How silly of me.

“Dance, Humans!” ends with a mosh pit masterpiece called Charlie McCarthy’s Ghost. The final track never lets up, and keeps your heart racing and your foot tapping all the way through. If I were at their show, I would not have been spilling only my own beer, but the beers of others as well. This album is so much fun. If you are in the mood for sweet riffs, clever lyrics, fast paced new wave meets garage, I highly recommend giving this a spin.

Nicole is a lover of music, movies, and margaritas. Aside from writing for PA and Find out, she also plays in Curse Words, Collider, and Accidents. You can probably find her playing guitar in a punk act at some shitty bar in DC or taking 1000 photos of her cats.

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