By Dot Allison
Dot Allison is famous for something or other. Afterglow it was called. She's got a self-produced album out called "we are Science" and she's label mates with Parva, Gorky and Saint Etienne. This single's main song (Strung Out) on Mantra is interesting for being produced in a Catskills cabin by one Dave Fridmann, with guesting musicians Grasshopper and Jeff Ament (all of Mercury Rev). It's also interesting for having its third song "Sweet Surrender" from the Tim Buckley catalogue. So it should be good.
I'm afraid I have to report that it isn't good. It's dull, sluggish and fuzzy. Allison's breathy voice has no obvious character, and even Buckley's song sounds like it's waiting for the good bit. There's an out of tune feel to it, like the risk-taking Flaming Lips pitch bend thing. But that might be down to her singing outside her preferred (fairly narrow) range. And maybe you could hear a bit of Garbage in the vocal? For me though, it's just indifference on stilts. Dance, in this instance, proves to be a poor training ground for band-like songs.