One of the greatest things about home-recorded, self-released music is the confessional glimpse it offers into the lives of the artist - as raw and unfiltered as possible. The difference is like seeing Scarlett Johannsson first thing in the morning vs. later that today at a photo shoot when she's had a moment to hide all the blemishes (as if there were any), and present herself in perfect poise, showing the photographers what they expect.
This raw, uncompromising honesty has always been part of the attraction of folk music and field recordings, presenting the artist in their natural environment. Rough recording quality and sometimes crude, amateurish musicianship can deter those used to listening to pop music, however, with the rough noise and hiss of the tape obscuring the music like a white noise hand-me-down quilt, meaning many people will never hear the glory of that music, no matter how glorious.
The home recording revolution, and evolution, is producing a new art form, as, for the first time in human history, musicians are able to capture their ideas - no matter how personal, how weird, or how masterful - in a fidelity that even casual listeners can understand.
The Dinner Bell Theory is the husband-and-wife duo, hailing from Auckland, NZ, trading in a kind of stripped-down, post-punk rock n’ roll. You can hear shades of '90s lo-fi legends like Guided By Voices, The Breeders, Juliana Hatfield or Liz Phair, mostly in the female vocals. At other moments, like the twanging, moody country of "Look At Me" bring to mind the dour country of another husband-and-wife duo, The Handsome Family, best known for penning the theme song to TV's True Detective.
Home-Kill is a no-muss, no-fuss minimalist rock record with occasional flourishes of country and folk. Most elements are recorded dry, in keeping with The Dinner Bell Theory's honest production style. The bass bumps along, while the drums sound clear and present, but without trying to sound epic.
The electric guitars are particularly noteworthy on Home-Kill, alternating from simple, but highly satisfying overdriven wall-of-sound to a kind of swirling Goth/post-punk/early-'80s shimmer chorus that will appeal to fans of anyone from The Cure to The Church to The Chameleons.
Home-Kill is a solid collection of songs from a pair of talented and dedicated musicians. The Dinner Bell Theory came to life because the wife was tired of singing demos for her husband's auditions and the husband was sick of auditioning all together. Sounds like the simplest, and best, reason to get a project together! There's no telling if anyone would've heard Home-Kill 20 years ago, except maybe as a pricey import from Flying Nun or Xpressway. That would've been a shame.
Fans of lo-fi, post-punk and raw, honest rock n’ roll get this now!!!
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