Page 8-The Michigan Daily - Monday, December2, 1991
Dylans make, like, Godlike music
by Annette Petruso
Q uentin Jennings, who plays
keyboards/Hammond organ for the
Dylans, takes you for a particle ride
and talks about what's up with the
band's new album.
Colin Gregory's more up front
and self-confident vocals on The
"Up until now, everything, it's
been like, 'Go in, ... get all the music
down and then, alright, vocals, oh
yeah vocals, better put them on.' But
a lot of the stuff on the album was
kind of filled a lot more carefully,
working the vocals into it, a lot
more time spent on it. Obviously
not like labored, but just sort of
taking it a bit more seriously, if you
like. Just giving it a bit more space,
trying more different things out....
All of a sudden's found his voice,
you know, which is his voice. It's
there now. It's really strong. Sort
of an identifiable voice. I always
thought it was in the first place, but
he was going on, 'Oh, I don't like
this, I don't like that."'
The album sounds more poppy
than the Godlike EP.
"It's really odd for us. I mean,
like, this album, it's not really, I
don't know if I should say this, but
everything's so rushed, I think what
they (the record company) were ex-
pecting us to do was reproduce the
demo that the band got signed for.
Obviously, we weren't going to do
that because we got our own ideas.
That's old news as far as we're con-
cerned. So, some of the older songs
are there, you know, and they're just
old songs, you know. What more can
you say. And it's the new stuff that
we're more interested in. ... But I
noticed something the other day. I
heard an R.E.M. track, 'Radio Song.'
... And it starts off the same as one
of our's ("Indian Sun"). Oh dear. Oh
Why the '60s?
"In England, people make a big
deal out of (it). 'Oh, you're a sixties
lenging style, methods of recording,
learning more about separation, cre-
ative use of reverbs. And also had a
massive more amount of talent than
there is around at the moment, or
that seems to be getting through,
any way. And you could do what
you - obviously, you can't do what
you want to do. It was probably a
While the Dylans' US debut EP, Godlike, floated in happy, ethereal,
very groovy-peace-man sounds, the band's first stateside LP turns these
channels to more modern, funky consciousness. The Hammond organ and
bass take center stage on the best cuts, doing solos and lines reminiscent
of the spontaneity of Santana's "Soul Sacrifice" and Ray Manzerek. The
Dylans sounds less neat and tailored, less self-conscious - sort of like
Revolver/Rubber Soul era Beatles, when the mop tops discovered they
could do more than write three-chord songs. Listen to "She Drops
Bombs" and the brilliant "Ocean Wide" (Drive! Innocence!
Worldliness! All in one song! And you can dance to it!), for example.
Sixties references aside, The Dylans also shows the band has an
'80s/'90s pop consciousness. While retaining the atmosphere (and "right
good vibes," as vocalist/bassist Colin Gregory says) of that over-cele-
brated decade, The Dylans could also be labeled R.E.M. meets British pop
(meets the Monkees). "Mary Quant in Blue" exemplifies the Dylans'
version of the contemporary pop tune, with a guitar part reminiscent of
Echo and the Bunnymen.
This album works. Its charming songs, and Gregory's much improved,
expressive vocals, chunk into experimentation with the pop song form,
and show how far a band can mold influences into its own productive in-
terpretation. The jams on the album, such as "Indian Sun," "Particle
Ride" and a new mix of "Godlike" with a funky organ solo at the end,
complete this feel. If the Dylans' exemplify retrogressive, toss me some
bell bottoms. I'd rather wear them any day.
"I just bought Pet Sounds by the
Beach Boys on CD, and ... you can
just hear how much messing about
went on. You know, obviously, it
must have been very good fun. You
just get a sense of fun in the music as
well, and a bit of mystery. Much
more ambiguous lyrics sort of going
on there. Nowadays, it's all too
bleedin' obvious what people are
He uses a Hammond. It's not a
"There's loads of Hammonds
around now, loads of organs in mu-
sic ... Because you've got an organ,
that instantly makes you compara-
ble to another band that's got an or-
gan. That never happened in the six-
ties, you know. People used them all
the time ... People say to me, 'Why
do you use a Hammond?' To which I
say, 'Why don't you ask Jim
(Rodger, guitarist) why he uses his
electric guitar?' 'Do you use a
Hammond because you want to
sound like the Charlatans?' I mean,
why don't you say that to Jim, 'Do
you use a guitar because you want to
sound like Jimi Hendrix?' You
know, it's pathetic. But, you know,
people are always going to make
comparisons like that. If that's
what they're into, just leave them to
But do the Dylans matter in the
scheme of the universe?
"I don't think they are. I don't
think anybody is. Really... I mean,
let's face it, I mean, we don't con-
tribute anything to the planet, and
we're not claiming to. That's where
we draw the line. That's right, have
a good time, get into it, but as for
fitting into the scheme of the uni-
verse, the fact that we have an artifi-
"Lay, lady, lay. Lay across my big brass bed." OK, so the Dylans don't
sound a whole hell of a lot like the Dylan. But nice haircuts, eh?
band.' I mean, are we? We all just
grew up with those sounds, so it's
bound to rub off on ya.
"(There was) a lot more of a
fresher approach. A lot of people
were getting into a much more chal-
lot harder to get a deal then. But
once you were there, you ... had the
freedom to experiment and use
whatever terms you wanted. You
know, try banging on a biscuit tin
and a bit of reverb on it.
cial barrier, or rather, an artificial
line drawn around the four people
that define the Dylans, you know,
it's not that big of a deal. The reason
we're called the Dylans is because
we don't exist. There are no such
thing as Dylans. Bob Dylan isn't
real. He's Bob Zimmerman. Dylan
Thomas is dead. Dylan the rabbit
from the Magic Roundabout is fic-
titious. And we're
therefore, we don't fit
of the universe."
in the schemer
On that note...
"I can't forgive people who are
just afraid of melody. It's just pa-
thetic. That's what it's all about. Ifs
you can't have some coherent tune,
some poppy thing - obviously, ifa
you're Stravinsky, you're brilliant;
you're a genius, off you go. But if all
you're trying to do is cheer people,
up a bit, why bother with the rest of
the crap, you know? But you can find,
a tune. I can find a tune in loads of
stuff, you know, if you listen for it,a
he said, contradicting himself to-"
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For more details and to sign up for an information
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Continued from page 5
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It took Galileo 16 years to master the universe.
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It seems unfair. The genius had all that time. While you have a few
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J__., - s.__._._
f . r