One of Madison's finest garage-punk outfits takes a nasty turn. Info
Dumb Vision blended pop melodies with staticky sleaze on its 2016 self-titled debut album. Madison has plenty of noisy punk and garage-rock bands these days and Dumb Vision's members collectively play in a good number of them—guitarist Erick Fruehling and drummer Alex Ross are in Fire Heads, bassist Griffin Pett plays in Wood Chickens, and guitarist Chris Joutras' projects include Coordinated Suicides and The Momotaros—but the fuzzy swing of songs like "Warm Meat" and "Leave It Alone" gave this band a distinctive place among that part of the local music community.
Dumb Vision's sound gets a little darker on Modern Things, the new album it will celebrate at this show. The title track and "Damn It" share a lot of that first album's smart-assed brightness, but much of this new record heads straight into discordant feedback, murky low end, and blunt-edged melodies that bear the influence of metal and early hardcore. " I don’t think it was very intentional," says Fruehling, who generally takes the lead on writing the band's songs, though all members contribute vocals and ideas. "But I wanted to slowly step away from our 'pop-punk' side and get into some darker territory, but also maintain some of the catchy riffy bits that are in that kind of music."
"Your Vibrations," "Made Of Glass," and "Couldn't Sleep" are among the harshest-sounding tracks Dumb Vision has put out so far, but also among the most dynamic, each one veering through volatile guitar breaks and mangled choruses in less than two minutes. There are fragments of catchy melody throughout Modern Things, but most of these songs let abrasive texture and pile-driving rhythms break through to the foreground.
"I think I was trying not to overplay which lead to some creepier guitar parts... maybe," Joutras says. "A couple of the songs were older but we intentionally left them off the first tape because they felt like the beginnings of a new batch of songs/direction... which the rest of this record is comprised of." Fruehling adds that the band has plenty ideas left over and plans to start writing another EP or album soon. —Scott Gordon