DP aka Domenic Petrella is sticking to what he knows on his latest release UP CLOSE. For all his releases Petrella limits himself to a drum machine, bass guitar and keyboards. Petrella hasn’t uttered a single word though and nothing indicates we will hear anything in terms of vocals anytime soon. Even though some of the songs might benefit from a vocal melody Petrella finds other ways to keep your attention. One thing that you notice about UP CLOSE is the guitar playing feels the loosest and arguably most creative it’s ever been. There were multiple times I was reminded of Stephen Malkmus type guitar playing.
The guitar ends up being the focal point for a majority of the songs on UP CLOSE but he tends to keeps it simple regarding effects. His guitar usually carries a bit of fuzz on it, the bass is clean and the drums have an early Joy Division aesthetic that he doesn’t deviate from.
The album opens with a highlight entitled “UNDERSTANDING” which contains some of his most notable guitar work. Petrella plays a lot of lead on this song going up and the scale of his guitar and keeping the bass rather limited. The song has a ‘90s indie rock vibe that was easy to appreciate.
“UP AGAINST THE MONITOR” is a solid track that changes parts when it needs. Petrella is getting an ear for when riffs start to wear out their welcome. “UP AGAINST THE MONITOR” is a track that keeps you engaged for its entirety. “WALKING WITH BLUE SNEAKERS” has a bluesy lead guitar part that combines an equally as integral bass line while “DAZED” puts the guitar in the background making distorted ambience while the bass takes the lead. “DAZED” has a Pixies feel to it minus Frank Black of course.
My only advice to Petrella at this point would be to implement some variety into the drum programming or add more percussive effects. Once Petrella finds a beat he tends to stick to it for the remainder of the song. That being said UP CLOSE is another solid piece of work from an ambitious artist who is getting more comfortable and creative as time goes on.
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