PLAYLIST: Dumb Introduce Their International DIY Buds
Braving the limitless content jungle, the Vancouver rockers list their fav tracks released over the past two years.
With the perception of club culture seemingly still being mostly informed by Saturday Night Fever’s idyllic discotheque, Dumb are here to inform you that the dancefloor doesn’t always deliver on its promise of escapism. Club Nites, the Vancouver group’s new album on Mint Records (Peach Kelli Pop, Necking), compiles fourteen of the band’s most succinct post-punk ditties to date, addressing the unique spotlight the scene shines on your peers’ shortcomings, with a sonic palette landing somewhere between Parquet Courts’ caffeinated monotone and Minutemen’s sheer punk ethos—all in a manner far from accommodating to unrestrained sax solo.
With all this conflictual energy neatly packed into thirty minutes of unabated guitar-driven punk, the band is free to praise the work of their peers spanning their native Canada, neighboring United States, and even across the proverbial pond. Singer-guitarist Franco Rossino took the time to highlight singles from fourteen of his favorite contemporaries (as well as Club Nites’ title track) to inform us of what else is good in the international DIY scene.
Club Nites is out today via Mint Records. You can order it here.
Future Punx, “F Boys” (Brooklyn, New York)
Upbeat synth punk. Unabashedly anarcho-primitivist, I’ll be blasting this during the revolution if it ever happens. This is everything I need from a song. They really are punks from the future. For readers of Guy Debord, unless I’m misinterpreting the lyrics.
RAYS, “Lost in a Cage” (Oakland, California)
This band covers a lot of ground—a mix of Aussie and bay area vibes—and manages to be janky and chill at the same time. Their new album is sweet as well, but I like this song too much to not include it. Mixed by Mikey Young of Total Control, who mastered our most recent album.
Mope Grooves, “Shape of a Pocket” (Portland, Oregon)
My copy of this tape has become quite warbled. First met them at a show we played together at Oakland Secret and have shared many a good time since. Chose this song because it’s my favourite of Stevie [Pohlman]’s poetry.
Tough Customer, “Secretly the Mayor” (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Mint Records and CiTR put out a compilation every once in a while called Pop Alliance, and the last iteration included this song, but it’s really from the album Rockgasm, which was definitely recorded with the same pre-amps (Daking 4-channel) that we borrowed from secret-mayor Ben Beckett (guitar in Tough Customer) to record our recent album. All the Tough Customer songs are good but this one is defs the hit.
The Woolen Men, “Weatherman for Sale” (Portland, Oregon)
These cool humans work in the same bagel place as Stevie from Mope Grooves; if you’re ever in Portland, check out Spielman Bagels & Coffee—it’s quality. This band has a number of albums and they’re all great, but this song is unbelievably pure and doesn’t shy away from vulnerability.
Human Music, “Tea Leaves” (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Took me a few listens of this masterpiece of an album to decide which song to include on the playlist, but settled on this one because of the Belle and Sebastian vibes. My copy of this tape is also pretty warbled at this point. Last we saw Cole (guitar/vocals) was in LA at a house show that got rolled on by the cops two songs into our set. He was a pal and joined us at a tailgate in the Vons parking lot. Good skateboarder, legendary rocker, top notch human being.
DYGL, “Bad Kicks” (Tokyo, Japan / London, UK)
In one of the most surreal nights of my entire life, we met Nobuki [Akiyama] and Yosuke [Shimonaka] from DYGL (pronounced Dayglo) outside Beerland in Austin, Texas. We exchanged tapes and weed for darts, and Yosuke got us into Beerland for free, where DYGL opened for The Chills. After the show we all snuck into a party at a cathedral that Robert Plant had allegedly renovated into a mansion, including a heated lap pool and open bar where the U.K. band Squid were playing beneath a glass floor. Anyway, this band is dope, inspired by early ’00s U.K. garage revival like The Libertines. Definitely one of the best finds of SXSW for us.
Dumb, “Club Nites” (Vancouver, British Columbia)
This is likely the best song ever written—fun and upbeat, with an excellent music video by Sumsor Tovnym. After listening to this song, Paul McCartney (Ram, Wings) decided to quit music forever.
Patti, “No Pain” (Brooklyn, New York)
Close friends from the Bay Area who recently moved to Brooklyn, although I’m not sure why. Either way, they absolutely rip and coincidentally are very nice people. Last time they were in Vancouver they played two gigs in one weekend and slayed. I don’t care what you call it, egg-punk, cone-core, whatever, this band is ill.
Skull Cult, “Enemy” (Bloomington, Indiana)
Like Patti, they have an album released on Erste Theke Tontraeger and that makes sense. One of the Skull Cult guitarists—forget his name—almost lit the entire backyard on fire when we played in the vocalist’s basement with Big Hog and Skull Cult.
Gauche, “Conspiracy Theories” (Washington, D.C.)
Peak DIY post-punk. This song really gets me, not just because I also hate Alex Jones and Pizzagate. For real though, conspiracy theories embolden the most vulnerable in the most devious ways. The truth is really out there—it’s just not in a found-footage documentary, unless it’s by Adam Curtis.
Swim Team, “Mango” (Vancouver, British Columbia)
I’m definitely not the only one who believes that this is the best band in Vancouver, featuring Nick Short from Dumb on guitar. I’ve seen Swim Team put on some very legendary performances. Prog rock experimental post-punk.
N0V3L, “Natural” (Vancouver, British Columbia)
They say they’re from Vancouver, but they’re really from the post-punk capital of Canada: Calgary. A mashup of Smoke Eaters and Painted Fruit, with two additional members who I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting, they are machines on stage. Much more than just Crack Cloud counterparts.
French Vanilla, “All the Time” (Los Angeles, California)
Direct descendants of Delta 5, Essential Logic, Kleenex, The Slits, and many more, but new. These buds are tight as shit and never fail to impress. Highly recommend you see them live—it’s somehow consistently overwhelming.
Pardoner, “Carousel of Punishment” (San Francisco, California)
One of our biggest influences, Pardoner basically inspired our entire 5$ or Free EP. They are definitely the closest friends we have made through music, and one of my favourite bands. This song is unbelievably good.