Dagger ("Bananas Foster" review 2010)

This low-key LA band led by vocalist Dennis Davison and
multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Lea have been at it for over 2 decades
(started in 1989) but geez they are so unknown it’s criminal (think
another LA pop combo, The Black Watch). I’m not sure how many records
they have out but they’ve got plenty and I have several, but I must
say, that this, BANANAS FOSTER is their best yet. The record is
straight out of 1968 and if Love’s FOREVR CHANGES is among your faves
then this will sit nicely with you. It doesn’t sound a lot like that
record but it has a similar spirit and The Jigsaw Seen’s trippy,
baroque pop is in the same ballpark and BANANAS FOSTER is definitely
their most ambitious record yet. The record opens with the drum heavy
“Bertha Brilliance” then drifts into the melodic “David Hart’s Name of
Song” right into the gorgeous Zombies-esque pop of “Melancholy
Morning.” Elsewhere you have the trippy “Choregraphy Killed the Cat”,
the grimier, blasting “Where the Action Isn’t” and the gentle closer
“Jubliee.” That this is their first record of original material in a
decade had those of us who are fans hoping for a stellar record full of
ambitious pop songs and yes, we were not disappointed. Amazing package
too with perfect yellow and blue cardboard sleeve, fold-out poster and
a recipe card for, you got it, Bananas Foster!


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