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Dominant Legs

Young at Love and Life EP

(Lefse; US: 17 Sep 2010; UK: Import)

Ryan William Lynch, the man behind Dominant Legs, isn’t all that concerned with uniformity on his new EP. The four songs here split clearly into two camps, and bounce back and forth between them. “Young at Love and Life” and “About My Girls” both employ a kind of new-wave-R&B hybrid that calls to mind the Cure in mood and, believe it or not, New Edition in its sugary synthesizers. The other two songs, “Clawing Out at the Walls” and “Run Like Hell for Leather” are moodier pieces, built on layers of guitar and spacious beats. On all four tracks, Lynch warbles affectingly, tossing out heartfelt lines like “The fireplace came all ready with the flame in it”.  However he sounds more at home in the darker moments. The age-old mesh of dance music and melancholy is just fine, but “Young at Love and Life” and “About My Girls” don’t resonate quite as much as the cascading guitars and washed out vocals on “Run Like Hell for Leather”. Maybe that’s what the back and forth is for: dance for one track, lower your head and cup the headphones to your ears for the next, repeat. If you can handle that much shifting in four songs, then Young at Love and Life EP will definitely grab you, but you might find yourself remembering the darker moments long after you’ve forgotten Lynch’s sweeter hooks.

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Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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