Black Tie Dynasty

You can play name-that-influence with this album till you're blue in the face, but the first thing that sticks with me is the first song's opening line: "It looked like a crime scene covered up with ice cream." In the same way Interpol was forgiven for being Joy Division hacks because they were good enough to pull it off, it's easy to love Fort Worth's Black Tie Dynasty from the opening of their debut EP. Of course, that song, "Crime Scene," also reveals the band's weaknesses: occasional over-reliance on Cory Watson's generally effective Dave Gahan-esque delivery behind a synth-heavy sheen that veers a little too retro '80s. Luckily, this band knows when to kick it into a higher gear with slicing, effected guitarwork sculpting a fully enveloping sound-world that puts them right in line with the Interpol school of Factory Records-worshiping post-punk "Wavers." Of course, metroplex kids who grew up with the Edge have been digging these sounds for decades now, so you can't come down too hard on the boys. This is one of the most promising local records of the year.
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Michael Chamy