Maybe it's time to forgive Toby Pipes for Deep Blue Something and "Breakfast at Tiffany's." It's been more than 13 years since that insipidly catchy song gave a completely unrepresentative impression of Denton music—and even the band that wrote it—to audiences all over America.
Little Black Dress, Pipes' new project with singer/guitarist and singer/bassist Nolan Thies and supporting players, sounds something like Deep Blue deep cuts—meaning any song other than DBS' one hit—with drone notes buzzing under a haze of distortion and reverb.
It's more an homage to the acts the band lists as influences—My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins and Depeche Mode—than anything original. But Toby's soothing, pretty voice is far more listenable than his brother's alt-rock whine. The intricate, slow-building intro "Makeshift Blinds" is a nice way to ease into the album. Elsewhere, the synths and echoing guitars of the title track give a slight chilly, detached feel that counters the cheery uplift that characterizes the bulk of the album.
Little Black Dresses
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All in all, it's not bad at all, if not particularly memorable. Unlike the once-ubiquitous hit of the band that made Pipes famous, Snow in June offers nothing that will stick in your head more than a few minutes after the album ends—let alone a decade. If only it were the other way around.