Earlier this year I did some extensive conversating with and coverage of the band Crimes from Minneapolis. In the process of that process (!), I discovered that Crimes founder Andrew Jansen had actually been part of another pop band in the past. The catch? The project was now defunct. Crimes had taken precedent. Still, some of the story behind the single LP released by Dial-Up, Landlines, has continued to stew in my cranium. Most of all though, this track “Metal” has been one of the bigger earworms of 2013 for me. Maybe you’ve heard it before, maybe not, but I’m bringing it back. 2010/2012 meet 2013.
When you think about Crimes you are crossing the oasis and heading into the desert – grungy, almost sardonic pop that you find in garages and bars around the country. Unfortunately, that kind of grunge pop doesn’t get the attention it deserves – for me, it’s one of my favorite styles and genres. That said, this Dial-Up project takes whatever hooks Crimes came up with and ups the ante by $50,000. All in.
“Metal” is a sparsely instrumented pop track. A simple beat, some guitars, a bit of synth…a very less is more approach that allows the prime element of the project to shine. That element is Jansen’s vocals, which are half spoken, almost rap-worthy thought clouds that just seem to bubble out of nowhere and in seemingly ten different directions. I’ll be honest, it’s not exactly the most straightforward narrative. On the other, it is insanely contagious. No deep, varied production, just a few sounds, a voice, and a sweet groove to take you into a place of audio joy.
Unfortunately we may never know what would’ve happened with Dial-Up. Thankfully, we’ve still got the wonderful Crimes to enjoy in the interim. On the off chance you do come back, Dial-Up, don’t stutter your sentences.
You may purchase Landlines on Bandcamp if you prefer vinyl, or download it for free from the same place. The versions of the tracks on Landlines posted below are from the Seller Door EP – I loved that fuzz. The album versions are much more cleanly produced, if you’re into that sort of thing. Enjoy “Metal” and “Back Seat”.