The Way You Shatter

Dewey Defeats Truman

Silver Girl Records, 2022

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


A San Diego outfit formed in 1998 from the ashes of Red Dye No. 5 and Luper, Dewey Defeats Truman, made quite an impression with their raw and melodic brand of indie-rock, but they broke up before they could really convince the world of just how great they were.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Fast forward to 2018, where a 20-year anniversary show led into more shows and the first new material in 20 years from the group: James Reader (bass, vocals), Scott Frazier (drums) and Mark MacBride (guitar, vocals).

The quick listen opens with the post-punk meets dream-rock of “Slow Reaction,” where mesmerizing guitar and proficient drumming adds much appeal to the cautiously noisy climate. This is followed with the more firm display of “Serpent's Kiss,” where some ’90s alt-rock is mixed into the very indie-rock friendly formula.

The middle spot belongs to the swirling guitars and thumping drums of the gritty yet tuneful “Less Than One,” which might be one of the best songs in recent history, and “Subtract Yourself” isn’t anything to sneeze at either, with harmonic singing and a fuzzed out spirit that would make Lou Barlow and J Mascis smile.

“The Tower” exits the vinyl release, and it’s got a bit of a jangle alongside more tense areas of post-punk that ebbs and flows with a hypnotic quality. The digital/CD release comes with two bonus tracks, “Better During” and “Shots Taken.” The former is swift, dynamic and benefits from meticulous bass lines amid the hints of shoegaze, and the latter flows with bright, dreamy textures that might bring to mind Mineral, Sense Field or Jimmy Eat World.

Comeback albums are rarely this fantastic. The Way You Shatter was on my year end list for good reason; this is a flawless indie/alt/punk/power-pop hybrid, and about as triumphant a return as you'll ever experience.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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