Atlanta’s answer to dreamy-pop rock offers an experimental garage-y edge and other surprising elements from their new music all showcased brilliantly at their Mercury Lounge set this past week.
Dinner Time first were on my radar my freshman year of college at Belmont, in Nashville, probably due to the combo of non-stop house shows and the ever impactful Nordista Freeze who had them play his Freeze-fest DIY festival during my time down South. Whatever the weather, I was happy and curious to find they were performing during my first week in the States and wanted to see how my memories served me from this bright and pop-oriented project.
Opening the night we had Juniper Avenue, the tour support hailing from North Carolina for Dinner Time’s first leg of this Spring tour. They were unexpected in their comet of energy and there was a lot to love with this first group. The Mcklusky-meets-Butthole Surfers vocals, the scuzzy psych/jam/punk elements to the songwriting and definitely the lead singers masterful abilities on guitar combined with the rhythm’s chips-in-a-bag ‘crunch’ style of playing that played off each other in a very amicable way… a very fun opener that I look forward to watching again soon. Maybe next time with a tall boy and on the beach or summat. For my friends in the North of England- this band is great for fans of SPILT, Tits Up and / or Joe Wildflower. Listen to their new release, ‘Chuck Rock’ and you’ll get it… it’s a banger.
Now for Dinner Time- this is a band with a great sense of melody and of ‘the Song’ (as a unifying idea) which I haven’t caught as much lately as I’d like, so it stuck out nicely. The arrangements, especially the use of synth/keys to uplift rather than dominate the arrangements were notable. My initial comparisons were lots of my old favourite dreamy stuff… UGLY (UK) and Paul Cherry both came to mind. This band is evidently tour-seasoned and their tracks come with the same self-assuredness of a studio recording. They are tight, dance-able, entertaining and I didn’t see so much as a fumbled chord the entire time.
Tight, tight, tight…
The second half of the set, though, is where they really shone. By then, my friends were all swept up, dancing and saying, ‘yo, this is REALLY good’ every thirty seconds, which is always a good sign. For me, though, it was these newer tracks and the vocal experimentation (did I notice some Car Seat Headrest influenced-yodels there?) combined with some funkier tracks that sold it. That, and an energetic garage vibe that made me pray for an old school house show mosh pit sooner rather than later…. UK-friends, if you like Brad Stank, UGLY, Maryam, FUR, Trudy and the Romance or Tepid Days, you’ll dig this.
All in all, Dinner Time have something for everyone and were certainly worth the watch. I look forward to hearing about their Summer plans and catching them next time our paths cross.
Check out their most recent release, “not vibin” ft. Raquel Lily out now.
Catch u soon- Tortcha x