Fun with Reverb!
The Dagons have been complimentarily dubbed â€šÃ„Ãºthe Bizarro White Stripesâ€šÃ„Ã¹ by one critic because the singer-guitarist is female and the drummer is male. The moniker is more than apt on the duoâ€šÃ„Ã´s album, Reverse, because only in Supermanâ€šÃ„Ã´s Bizarro World would The Dagons be considered remotely as good as The White Stripesâ€šÃ„Ã®or good, period.Among the worst albums of the year, Reverse has one insurmountable problem: Karie Jacobsonâ€šÃ„Ã´s unlistenable vocals. Every time the band is in danger of being sonically interesting (as in the opening track, â€šÃ„ÃºIt Flies Outâ€šÃ„Ã¹), Jacobsonâ€šÃ„Ã´s near-tuneless vocals stop the album cold. The music, however, is mostly well played. The guitars are crunchy and the drumming is solid, if not particularly inspired. But what kills the whole package is Jacobsonâ€šÃ„Ã´s weak vocals. All the intelligent, literary lyrics in the world canâ€šÃ„Ã´t overcome the serious sonic pain of listening to her babyish, thin voice.
Mercifully, this is a short album, with the longest song, the morose â€šÃ„ÃºThe Fifth One,â€šÃ„Ã¹ clocking in at 3:42 (the rest being well under the three-minute mark). Unless Jacobson and her partner, Drew Kowalski, plan on becoming instrumentalists, their musical chops are wasted. Then again, instrumentals such as â€šÃ„ÃºScyllaâ€šÃ„Ã¹ amount to aimless, boring noodling, so that plan may be for naught as well. Seriously, a song full of â€šÃ„ÃºHey, look what I can do with my
If theyâ€šÃ„Ã´d stuck to such punkish tunes as â€šÃ„ÃºPlanchettes Half-Apesâ€šÃ„Ã¹ or â€šÃ„ÃºPanic in the Snake House,â€šÃ„Ã¹ The Dagons might be on to something. Strong vocals are not a requirement in punk rock, after all. Instead, Reverse winds up dying on the withered vine of Jacobsonâ€šÃ„Ã´s vocal chords.