The Shrubbery
July 1999
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Dressy Bessy Pink Hearts Yellow Moons (Kindercore)

A review by Courtney Knopf

Dressy Bessy plays the kind of music that makes you want to dance around and sing into a hair brush. It's sugar-sweet cutesey pop that made a pit stop in the garage to find itself some edge. While not actually part of the Elephant 6 recording company, Dressy Bessy is kind of an honorary member because their latest effort, Pink Hearts Yellow Moons features Apples In Stereo member John Hill on guitars, percussion, melodica and vocals, and also finds him in the production booth with fellow Apple, Robert Schneider (who also produced the latest Beulah album).

On lead vocals, Tammy Ealom sounds like what would happen if you put L7 and the Go-Go's in a blender and tried to piece it back together. A kinder, gentler Sleater-Kinney, if you will. "Come On Jenny," is a catchy track with some very apropos "come on, come on" backing vocals that are straight out of the 60's. The strongest track on the album is the twinkly "If You Should Try To Kiss Her," an insanely cute and catchy tune which finds it's strength in the bass and guitar work of Rob Greene and Schenider and makes you want to bob your head from side to side.

For some reason "Extra-Ordinary" makes me think of mod 60's movies and that scene in the beginning of A Hard Day's Night when all the girls are chasing The Beatles down the street. Perhaps Dressy Bessy wouldn't exactly be at home on Carnaby Street, or even in the Cavern Club, but it's rather obvious that a lot of their musical inspiration is derived from that period in time.

For the most part, this is an extremely lo-fi album. It was all recorded on 4&8-track recorders, and I think that results in a lot of the album's charm. The trend of making an album lately seems to be to give it as much production value as you can, but Dressy Bessy is just stripped down jangly, rough pop music that doesn't need to hide behind production to make itself special. While there are a few tracks that are forgettable, this is a largely satisfying album that can lend itself to be the perfect soundtrack for driving down the highway on a hot summer day.

B [86%]

Buy Pink Hearts and Yellow Moons at Amazon.com!

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