Ye Olde Archives » MUSIC: Homebrew

Dom Casual

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While millions of teens in the '50s and '60s were listening to sock hop hits and snuggling under blankets at drive-in screenings of How to Stuff a Wild Bikini, garages nationwide were being filled with the sounds of aspiring rockers. Some made it, most didn't, but their sound lives on in the wound strings (no super slinkies here) and hollow body guitars of Dom Casual. Blending a throwback style with a modern sensibility, guitarists Jamie McLendon and Sean Patrick Murphy, bassist Andy Ware and ubiquitous drummer Nate Stalfa borrow a pinch of "?" and the Mysterians and add it to their Duane Eddy twang stew. Featuring both blistering and sublime instrumentals (the opening track, "Theme: Cave," could be the theme music for a tough guy spy flick) as well as poppy rockers and minor-key nuggets, the band's debut vacillates between eras while still managing to sound cohesive. There's a groany homage to pain relief in "Acetaminophen," as well as a bitter story of platonic affection, "Nothing More Than Friends." Guest star Andy Shull's trumpet resurrects Ennio Morricone on "Gunslinger's Funeral March," evoking dusty ballads written by and about tragic men. While each of these guys has other acts that they're involved with, we can only hope that Dom Casual continues to be that little mistress that they sneak off to every once and a while for some old-fashioned canoodling.

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