waiting to exhale.............
Like a dance-rock revelation, El Paso’s The D.A. arrived four years ago and have been making converts ever since.
The band, an incomparable chimera of indie rock and synth pop, has won a huge following in their hometown and other Southwest cities and now have a new album, “You Kids!,” poised to take them far beyond.
The full-length debut, recorded by Justin Leeah (sound engineer for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “It’s Blitz!”), is 10 tracks of pure bliss – impeccably produced pop set apart by its merging of electronic sounds, soaring trumpet and barebones rock instruments.
The record, which includes some redone tracks from their 2009 EP, “Thank God For Aluminum,” comes accompanied by a video for lead single “Pastels,” a foot-thumping track marked by propulsive rhythm and lyrical pathos. “All my friends are feral cats, hipsters and scaredy rats, hobos and acrobats,” chimes lead singer Tyler Dudley in a moment of beatnik whimsy, before an irresistible bass line kicks in and refuses to vacate your brain. The album is a wonder: lovingly crafted songs that transcend synth-pop formula, laden with personality by odd flashes of weirdness – whether it be secretly recorded barroom banter or
glitchy chirps at the end of “Big Woman,” the other half of the “Pastels” single. More impressively, “You Kids!” has improbably bottled The D.A.’s live sound. Through one major tour, countless local gigs and scores of daytrips (including two jaunts to Austin during SXSW), the quintet has become a live powerhouse that can get ankles swiveling, merch moving and babies made.
Tyler has been known to hang from rafters, barking like a madman. Keyboards either titter in pleasure or shudder in fear at the wrath of synth maestro Cesar Muñiz. Michael Frisbey’s trumpet– alternately sad and buoyant – cuts through the din of chugging guitar, Steven Escargaza’s earworm bass, and Evan Tremper’s driving drums.
“If I was a manager or label, I would snatch these little twinks up and make them rich twinks,” tweeted a bowled-over JD Samson of Le Tigre during The D.A.’s opening set for her side project MEN in April.
The D.A. has also shared stages with such indie darlings as Yelle, Foster the People, Holy
Fuck, Miniature Tigers and Prefuse 73. This spring they more than held their own on a bill with MSTRKRFT, CSS and Beach Fossils at El Paso’s first-ever Neon Desert Music Festival.
The band embarked on a 10-date tour of the Southwest and West Coast last August. If their live show has cracked open a door for the band, “You Kids!” should bust it wide open.