Slingshot Dakota - Break

by Steve Ricciutti Rating:5 Release Date:2016-03-14

Slingshot Dakota, a two piece out of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, features the married duo of vocalist/keyboardist Carly Comando and drummer/vocalist Tom Patterson. Formed in 2003, Break is the band’s fourth album, and it’s a mixed bag of emo, plaintive indie-pop, and alt-rock with some unfortunate noisy and distracting overtones.

The title song is a pretty number that one might expect to hear in the background of the next rom-com featuring the 20-something actress du jour. Hell, she has already earned an Emmy for a song from an episode of The Simpsons. Comando’s voice reminds me of indie singer/songwriter Allison Weiss with a touch of Hayley Williams and there are some swirling shoegazer moments on the track, but what I found to be most frustrating was the drumming. There is a distinct lack of subtlety in Patterson’s incessant Grohl-esque pounding, utterly out of place on many of the songs.

Even on more grungey numbers like “Doreen,” “Monocacy,” or “Paycheck,” the fuzzy keyboards and the steady, numbing assault of drums clashes terribly with Comando’s lightweight voice. I’m not sure if they are trying to fill the spaces left from a two-piece by overloading sound, but whatever they are doing, it didn’t really work for me. Where it did work some is on the first song, “You,” which incorporates enough pop sensibilities to drown out the distracting noise.

In the end, it’s a shame because there is potential to me in some of the songs, (“Lewlyweds” comes immediately to mind) and Ms. Comando’s voice is sweet enough that it deserves more consistent exposure. In tracking backward, listening to the gorgeous “Everyday” solo song that earned the aforementioned Emmy, I wonder if perhaps this album isn’t merely an artist spreading her wings, something I think is vital and certainly justifiable as such. Still, I hope that she returns someday to the less noisy, more evocative songs I prefer. But then, I guess I’m just being selfish.

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