D.D Dumbo is the solo alias of Oliver Perry out of Castlemaine, and this is the debut Dumbo full-length. Utopia Defeated sounds like a clever clogs songwriter such as Nik Kershaw performing at some kind of tropical party, with guitars that swing from garagey to Paul Simony via much territory in between. CD or lovely marbled vinyl editions are available, from 4AD.
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Can music get any more ridiculous? Half way through the opening track here 'Utopia' there's a moment which will surely be familiar to any fans of Spinal Tap's 'Stonehenge' as the music halts and the band lurch into some kind of Irish jig. The remainder of the tune takes it's inspiration from Nik Kershaw's 'Human Racing' album. 'Satan' too brings to mind of Sting in his later Police days just before the nightmare of his solo career rally took charge. The switching tempos and afrobeat drums kind of recall Paul Simon's 'Graceland' and for good measure they throw in an oboe solo.
Despite it's absurdity, this music has enough tunesmithery about it to worry the 6 Music playlist. It's these hints of the sort of music we enjoyed just as the CD was invented that might appeal to fans of the cleverer end of 80s pop. I can't help but think of the quirk pop of Everything Everything and Dutch Uncles when listening to this but it lacks their sophistication and goes for all out for that 38th on the bill at Live Aid feel. My enjoyment of the quirky song structures is tempered firstly by the Midnight Oil style bombast but secondly that the singer sounds so much like Sting that all I can see in my minds eye is that guy with the funny lip from the rainforest.
Who knew that in 2016 it would be 'cool' to sound like Nik Kershaw. Maybe it isn't. All I know is that way back when whilst Kershaw was strutting his stuff, 4AD were putting out Cocteau Twins records.
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