The first Flashback of 2012 has emerged from the swamp.
[from February 22, 2005]
From the largely ignored metropolis of Kansas City, Kansas comes this curiously named five-man band with a curious-sounding song. Over an itchy, bare-bones rhythm (drumbeat, erratically strummed guitar with some well-placed feedback), “Sidestepping” begins sketchily, singer Matthew Dunehoo’s airy, high-pitched voice kind of toying with the lyrics at first. There seems not to be a verse or chorus; instead, Dunehoo merely sings a lazy, descending melody in between instrumental breaks. But, hey: the volume and intensity of the accompaniment cranks up a notch at around 2:13 and as this subtly new soundscape unfolds, I am transfixed. Everything is the same but different: the lazy descending melody is stretched and hung now upon dramatic chord changes, and Dunehoo’s singing acquires an edgy substance that sounds appealingly to me like Brian Eno doing his best Ray Davies impersonation. “Sidestepping” comes from the band’s new CD, Give Me All Your Money, their second, which will be released later this month on Desoto Records.
ADDENDUM: Despite good material and good press, Doris Henson was through as a band by 2006. Front man Matthew Dunehoo ended up relocating to Brooklyn and putting a new band together, called Baby Teardrops. The lineup has changed once or twice but it at least temporarily solidified as a trio and released its first album, X Is For Love, in April 2011. Note that the Doris Henson MP3 has moved around over the years but it’s still up these days on The Pitch, a Kansas City alternative paper.