Tuesday, July 6, 2010

First Listen: Dignan, Cheaters and Thieves

Usually, consistency of tone is a problem for me. I like my albums to mix it up, to vary the sound. But Texas quintet Dignan does its one thing so well over the course of debut full-length Cheaters and Thieves that I find myself getting lost in it.

Dignan plays slow, atmospheric rock that rises and falls like waves, and the album is 30 minutes of crawling and chiming guitars, percussion and vocal harmonies. The songs are more concerned with atmosphere than melody, but the whole thing plays like a single track, one that ebbs and flows masterfully. Harpist Timbre Cierpke, who has her own tonally consistent band, lends beauty to two tracks, including the slowly-awakening opener "A Fool." I saw Dignan perform most of these songs at Cornerstone this year, and the album does a remarkable job of capturing their live sound.

Next time, I hope the band shakes things up a little more, but Cheaters and Thieves is a good record, and a fine introduction to this band. Check them out here.

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