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  • Jonathan Widran

ALBERTA and THE DEAD EYES, You Said Something

Usually when a review attempts to sum up the kind of coolness, otherworldliness and raw, jamming but slyly languid garage-rock cool we find on Alberta & The Deadeyes’ latest offbeat intoxicating romp You Said Something, it would make sense to offer some slivers of the offbeat lyrics of vocalist and band leader Dave Boone and company.

So let’s start there, with offkilter, WTF is that about lines like “side step like a viscously slick Dick Van Dyke” (from the intensely percussive, yet in spots dreamily fluid lead single “See Saw”) and “I’m just sitting here alive – just another useless fact/With every punch to the mouth, I lose another ounce of blood” (on the multi-mood swinging “Medium Talk,” which evolves from slow burning bluesy ballad to raucous, tribal, distorted guitar driven jam).

Those are just two prime examples of the insanely emotionally enveloping (but somehow singable and always toe-tap worthy!) crisp, crackling and uber-hipster oddities that spring forth on the trio cum quartet’s (with the addition now of lap steel master Ashlan Ounanian) sixth full length album in five years (an astonishing 70’s like artist output!). Which brings to mind the band quotes beyond the lyrics that truly capture the fresh uniqueness of this experience, whatever they call it now – as they’ve been defined as everything from alt-rock to dark folk, and Boone often refers to himself as a bluesman writing “blues songs, even if they don’t come across as bluesy every time.”

All four members – including bassist Bhuti Bhuti and drummer Eric “Nuntheless” Washington – contributed this gem: “It’s different, and I’m grateful to be part of it.” Ounanian adds, “This album is of course special..and as (Dave) tells everyone, better than the last, because it won’t be created unless it is.” Dave, no doubt thinking crazy-cool gems like the rollicking, funked out “Lil Bird” (whose whimsical vibe is offset by reflecting, somber and longing lyrics) and the sultry, atmospheric easy groover “Belly,” has no trouble tooting his own damn fascinating horn: “A buddy of mine asked, ‘What are you guys sounding like these days? I paused a moment and just responded with “hmmm, f***ing good. We are sounding real f***ing good. . .I’ve not had a better group in my years of doing this.”

A mini-epic featuring virtual collaborations between Detroit (the band’s original hometown) and New Orleans, You Said Something truly says something about what happens when all the jagged pieces come together and a collective hits its peak.

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