Thursday, July 21, 2016

LP Review: "II" by Dumb Numbers

There's a road near my house that I drive basically every single day of my life.

It's one of the longest roads in the City of St. Louis. There are a great many neighborhoods, personalities, and walks of life on Grand Blvd.

When driving west on I-70, that Grand exit has a familiar name, but the first time I used it, the area of the city was wholly unfamiliar to me.

There certainly weren't any sushi restaurants there.

This particular street, like the city, like people, like everything, hasn't remained static over the years. It's grown, changed, progressed, and even regressed. Simply because we all know its name, doesn't mean we know what it's like this very instant in that very spot.

Adam Harding of Dumb Numbers
II is the appropriately titled sophomore release by Dumb Numbers.

Main man Adam Harding is joined by Lou Barlow , of Dinosaur Jr fame, along with musicians from the Melvins, The Jesus Lizard, and Best Coast.

Personally, aside from the Barlow solo album, none of those bands do a lot for me.

So what happens when these fellows get together to bang out a record?

Though the names are familiar, the sound is not. Dumb  Numbers doesn't sound like any of those other bands to me. They have far more in common with Black Sabbath than Dinosaur Jr or The Melvins to me, though, those bands do have a bit in common with Black Sabbath....

This album ranges from fuzzed out psychedelic droning to masterfully crafted rock tunes. There's acres of wah soaked riffs and other worldly chanting, but not in every song.

Strings intermingle with the drums. The guitars change from sludgy to crunchy. Ambient noise becomes a song. It's really hard to explain what this album is about or what kind of music it is.

Just suffice to say, it's a very good record. Just don't expect to hear shades of what these folks play in their full time bands.

Release: 8/19/16
Genre: Avant Garde
Label: Joyful Noise


  1. Sounds like it was recorded in a garage, which is not to say it's bad but I'm not a big fan of the sound. Thanks for sharing, Nik!

    1. This is one of those albums that you need to hear in context. It takes a long, winding road to the point that when you get to the end of it...if you heard the first song, followed by the last's kind of is this the same record??

      But when you follow the all makes for Lo-Fi Records...if the songs are there, it makes no difference, but I prefer loosely recorded albums personally.