Dot Dash is Morse code for retro-infused fun.
Yes, Washington, D.C.’s Dot Dash is so named from an early Wire song. Just to get that out of the way. And, yes, the band, who has just issued its debut recording after forming in 2010, sounds a little like Wire, or any of a barrage of British post punk bands, with a sprinkle of Byrds-like jangly psychedelica and infectious melodies. In fact, spark>flame>ember>ash is like a loving homage to bands of years yore, one that has you playing spot the influences. “That Was Now, This Is Then”, one of the longer tracks on this 14 song affair as it eclipses the three minute mark, kind of reminded me a little of the Ramones’ “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker”; meanwhile, “No Reverie” sounds somewhat like an early Jam song. Still, there are enough nouvelle twists-and-turns to lend a keening originality to the proceedings. In a sense, it feels like the band has invented a new genre: call it post post punk. Overall, spark>flame>ember>ash is an assuredly strong collection of peppy gems. Its one failing is that, even at a relatively concise 35-minutes long, the lesser songs tend to run together and sound the same. However, the album is a lovingly assembled collection of hooky and spiky anthems that hit the spot for anyone who misses the year 1978.