First impressions are an interesting thing. They’re set based on many factors, some significant, some less so. Sometimes they can be accurate, but the hazy reggae-tinged imagery that might be swirling through your mind upon hearing the name Dub Thompson would perhaps prove less so. Dub Thompson, at its core, is made up of two 19-year-olds from Agoura Hills, Matt Pulos and Evan Laffer. Their music, while undeniably owing something to the dub/reggae aesthetic, often veers more in the direction of some sort of lo-fi psych/indie stew — think Wooden Indian Burial Ground mixed with a kind of schizophrenic, messy form of new wave. Fittingly containing only eight songs (including one named “9 Songs”), 9 Songs is a collection of music pulsating with ideas and surprises. Recorded by Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado in a rented house in Indiana, it runs the gamut from Casio-pop-meets-reggae (“No Time”) to a slowly decaying synth part that sounds like something out of a dying video game (“Dograces”) to a noisy, Unwound-style freakout (“Pterodactyls”) and all kinds of places in between. At times jarring but always cohesive, 9 Songs seems bound by a unifying aesthetic: messy, faded psychedelia driven by gritty drums and hyperactive, atonal guitar work, with a touch of synths here and there. In a sentence, it’s lo-fi garage-psych-groove weirdness, but in the best of ways.
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