"Groove" is somewhat of a red flag when it is mentioned w/r/t rock-and-roll bands. I mean, it used to be OK (see: Stones, etc.), but now it stinks of patchouli and only conjures images of smelly dudes doing something that approaches, but never quite reaches, dancing. (Jam bands have ruined so many things. Like Hacky Sack, for instance.) There is, unfortunately, no other word except "groove" for the undertow lurking below Doves' glittering wave of sound on Some Cities. No use in fighting it. This is, some would suggest, because the three members of Doves--Jimi Goodwin and twin brothers Andy and Jez Williams--also happen to be the three members of the late, only occasionally great electronic band Sub Sub. But the trio's dance-floor origins don't have much to do with the (gulp) groove on Some Cities. Try a few decades earlier: "Black and White Town" retrofits The Jam's mod, mod, mod world for a post-Radiohead universe, and "Almost Forgot Myself" feels like something U2 would have recorded if the group had dropped by Stax/Volt instead of Sun Studios during Rattle and Hum. Throughout, Goodwin's bass lines shimmy underneath the Williams brothers' snap and sparkle, giving each song equal parts rock and roll. You know what? Now that I think about it, "soul" would have worked, too. Could have skipped that whole "groove" business all together. Dammit.
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Zac Crain
Contact: Zac Crain