Elephant Stone has already commissioned three Davenport discs, the first of which is the full-length debut from New Planet Trampoline. Fronted by Matt Cassidy (who also sings and plays guitar in the Volta Sound and heads up 9 Volt Haunted House), the band is the Davenport offshoot most infatuated with volume and sweat. "I'm desperate, like a homeless man who hasn't been to sleep in weeks," Cassidy howls early on Curse, his vocal cords stretching like hot taffy. His guitar playing is equally untutored and instinctive: The elastic licks on "Northwestern Woodpecker" sound like a hovering spacecraft, then give way to a Roman fountain of revved-up riffs. Backed by Farfisa organ and seismic bass, it makes this the Davenport release hardest to sit still to.
The same can't be said for the Volta Sound, whose beautiful, sun-baked tunes sound as if they were recorded in a grassy field. They sing of clouds and pretty girls in an acoustic drone more calming than a dozen Xanax prescriptions. Dandelion Wine, the first half of a double release, is the band's loosest and liveliest record yet, full of four-part harmonies, handclaps, Wurlitzer, and wonder. They've never penned a better tune than the group hug "I Love You," except maybe for "Girls and Tambourines," where a "la-la-la-la" chorus gives way to punchy horns. Dandelion Wine is as intoxicating as its muse.
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