the Notes and Scratches

Newcity Chicago

thursday, december 15th, 2005 at 01:30 am

Tip of the Week
The Notes and Scratches
Tom Lynch

Joshua Dumas’ The Notes and Scratches bridge the gap between concrete indie rock and feel-good pretty pop with their “Uh-Oh” (Tense Forms), a completely enviable and ambitious assault of countless instruments and carefully constructed lyrical swerving. While the cigarette-charred vocals, sometimes hidden in the mix, seem somewhat out of place, they add an unexpected and fruitful aspect to the music, like an old car barely making itself through a Chicago December. Hand-claps, bells, xylophone and strings—nothing is kept out of the record, and while that could easily go oh-so-wrong, Dumas and crew do almost nothing disagreeable and, with near-nauseating charisma, charm to no end. “Uh-Oh” deserves multiple, multiple listens.

Tom Lynch