Dumb

Dumb are good at plenty of things, but relaxing isn’t one of them. The Vancouver four-piece write feverish tunes at a frantic pace, delivering catchy post-punk songs in two-minute blasts of wiry riffs and indignant social critiques. Less than a year since they signed to Mint Records for 2018’s Seeing Green, they’re already back with a new full-length, Club Nites — this time with even more neuroticism and indignation!

As the title indicates, Club Nites is a collection of narratives drawn from the nightlife ecosystem.
Attempting to break from the typical romanticized version of “the club” as seen on TV, the album instead depicts a bleak social setting, where we zoom in on seemingly petty details in order to reveal the cracks that Hollywood forgot to fill. Cynical but never self-serious, these songs offer gritty insights about being unable to meet the lofty expectations of your peers (“Beef Hits”), showing disregard towards your closest friends (“My Condolences”) and feeling overstimulated in a meme-fueled cultural economy (“Content Jungle”).

The LP has the energy of a raw nerve: the songs are dry and in-your-face, with crisp production that leaves every squeal of feedback and hollered refrain exposed. Dumb wrote and self-produced the LP in their own studio over the course of a few months in early 2019, with mastering from Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Total Control). Packing 14 tracks into a little more than half an hour, Dumb are unfailingly economical, with no-nonsense song structures that last just long enough to get stuck in your head.

Club Nites is a whirlwind of seemingly insoluble influences battling one another into existence. Singer-guitarist Franco Rossino’s vocal stylings are instantly captivating, ranging from spoken-word rambling, to Fugazi-esque chants, to what it might sound like if Mark E Smith had fronted the Zombies. Guitarist Nick Short creates intricate layers of guitar that range from austere rock riffs (Uranium Club), to timeless pop progressions (DEVO), with a healthy dose of feedback (PC Worship) to tie it all together. Bassist Shelby Vredik combines melodic bass lines with a powerful rhythmic precision that complements drummer Pipé Morelli’s meticulous, pummeling beats. Dumb belongs to a lineage of jagged post-punk that runs from the Minutemen to Pylon to Parquet Courts, yet the band remains loyal to their pop sensibilities.

In typically tireless fashion, the band will immediately hit the road in North America upon the new album’s release. Clinging tightly to their DIY ethos, you will likely find the band engaging in meaningful interactions with their community and beyond, as they are doing their best to negate the spectacle by being approachable. If you’ve ever felt alienated by club nights, Club Nites is the antidote.

“Vancouver’s Dumb make loud, snotty, smartass indie rock with wirey guitars and buckets of attitude. It’s like a whole band made of Jimbos from The Simpsons and Eddie Haskels from Leave it to Beaver by way of Los Angeles 1980 new wave punk. (Except Canadian.) Their shouty, catchy songs rarely go past two minutes, but pack in maximum hooks and choruses.” – Brooklyn Vegan


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IMAGES: To download, click above. Photos credit to Marisa Holmes

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