Monday, 22 June 2009

Dora Flood: a legendary Californian band

I've long been a huge admirer of Californian band Dora Flood, (Stephen Cavoretto: Keyboards, Trumpet, Backing vocals Michael Padilla: Vocals, Guitars Andrei Pasternak: Bass Ville Vilpponen: Guitars Jaakko Vilpponen: Drums ) in fact ever since I first heard their superb second album Lost On Earth back in 2000. I remember being in Aomeba Records in Hollywood a couple of years later and the joy of finding a copy their follow up Welcome, one of the stand out purchases of the whole trip (and I bought a lot of CDs) and the girl behind the counter singling it out and saying that the band were good friends of hers and that she loved their music anyway. Dora Flood have been labelled by various people as both shoegaze (which i can't really see myself) and psychedelic (which they certainly are..but not in that straight forward retro way, it's more that they dress their studio work in brilliantly detailed and adventurous production). To me Dora Flood are more in the grand tradition of the truely legendary Californian bands (of which they are certainly and effortlessly one) such as Game Theory, Harm Farm, The Ophelias and the Camper van Beethoven family tree in that at their heart is truly superb songcraft, a masterful ablity to play their music as if they love it more than life itself and a passionate creativity that shines in every thing they do.

And Dora Flood are like the Pillbugs in that everything they put out is guarenteed to be class from start to finish, if it says Dora Flood on the cover then its gonna be amazing music as simple as that. Though I never found copies of their debut album and earlier ep, I downloaded them from their music page and both are essentual, even the ep where you might expect they might be finding their feet is so good that even if it had been the only thing they ever recorded they would still be spoke of in hushed tones. And, if anything since then they have got even better. The last two albums We Live Now and Dream Out Your Window find a band so masterful and confident in their craft that they push everything that much futher. The production is wild, the playing right to the edge...each truly an adventure in sound with brilliant song writing keeping up effortlessly every step of the way.

Okay glowing praise but if you think I'm talking hyperbol (locks) then judge for yourself because in a bold experiment few bands have the bottle for, once they have milked all the initual sales from a new album, up it goes on their music page, alongside their complete back catologue, for free download. It's a stunning piece of generocity and I wonder how it plays out with them. Though I would have to say that they are such a classy outfit that once any true music lover has downloaded and ingested any one of their albums, then they really are not going to rest easy until a proper copy is gracing their CD collection.

Okay go here to start your love affair:

Dream Out Your Window (2008)
Never To Forget-Meet Yer Maker-Suspended-The Message-Nothing Became Something-Entangled-Mantra-Present Is A Place-Up To You-The End-All

We Live Now (2007)
Phoenix Rising-Everywhere We Go-Feels Like Yesterday-Revelation Blues-Atlantis-Humble High-Daydream-Invisible Throne-Faith And Deviation-Light

Highlands (2004)
Stargazing -The View -Throwing Wishes -Phantasm -Two Passing Shadows -Experimental Phase -Where You Belong -Evening On My Mind -Echoes -For a Moment -Home

Welcome (2002)
Welcome -Down Again -Go in Tonight -Give Us This Day -Las Vegas -Eraser -Slow Return (to Sleep) -Transition -Forget to Be Numb -Safety -Starflower

Lost On Earth (2000)
Mafioso -Anvil Ill -This is Life -Move -Lost on Earth -1000 Yard Stare -Love is Brave -Wanderlust -Capsule Life -Gridlock -Filling My Days With Illusion

Walk A Lightyear Mile (1999)
Black Widow Walking -These Old Boots -A Violent Pair -Transatlantic -Scarygroover -Undiscovered -Suburban Girlfriend -Satellite -Envy's Angel -Life's Ironic State -Acceleration Universal

1301 E.P. (1995)
Afterglow -Fragment G- Said -Faith in Doubt

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you jay strange, sometimes i feel like we haven't reached anyone with our music. it's nice to see people like you proving me wrong.
-Michael Padilla
and dora flood