ALL DAHLED UP - The Dahlmanns (Pop Detective Records)
If you followed the advice in the EP review below, you'll probably have already scored a copy of The Dahlmann's debut album. If you haven't it's not too late to do something smart for once in your miserable life.

Let's face it. Your existence will be much improved by listening to "All Dahled Up". Why? Well, it's 11 tunes of Norwegian pop punk goodness. You'll notice the Ramones influence from the get-go - and that's not a bad thing.

Band members all going by the same surname isn't the only thing the Dahlmanns share with the Bruddas. You rarely go wrong embracing the three major chords and melody. The Dahlmanns make no bones about their admiration for all things Ramone. There's a call-out on the album sleeve, but they're also bringing their own creativity to the party. That's even the faint whiff of bagpipes you can hear on "Going Down", courtesy of the late father of number one fan and Next Big Thing blogger Lindsay Hutton.

Let's not mistake these Dahlmanns for Ramone clones. Direct comparisons can be lazy. Neck snappers like "I Want You Around" (NOT the Ramones tune) draw obvious parallels but most of these songs are more pop than pogo.

And they're all keepers. Lead-off cut "Candy Pants" doesn't stray from the template but "Get Me Down" borrows from "Louie Louie" before slipping into default pop mode. "This Time" moves into Blondie territory with a song that would have been called New Wave had it been released in the '80s.

. Husband-and-wife Andre and Line wrote all but one of the songs, the exception of "Teenage City", where producer Chris Frehley gets a co-credit. The undulating Beach Boys melody line in "Smash You" (again, an original) and the singalong good time bop of "I Want You Around" are stand-outs. Line is in the vocal driving seat for most of the ride with Andre stepping up for "I Want You Around".

This is a great album but I'm scoring it a fraction behind the self-titled EP, for no other reason that that short, sharp burst of energy made such an impression. In the end, there's not much between both records and you need both. - The Barman

 

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THE DAHLMANNS EP - The Dahlmanns (Pop Detective)
Life's A Gas and here's a flame to set it alight. Ain't it a blast? The self-titled debut EP from husband-and-wife fronted Norwegian band The Dahlmanns is more fun than a leaked Mel Gibson psycho rage tape being played to an infants school class on Harmony Day, and a great deal much more tuneful. There are enough gems here to excite a one-eyed jeweller fencing stuff for the Mafia, even if the goddamn thing's only four songs long.

The vocal/focal point of The Dahlmanns are guitarist-singer Andre Dahlman (Yums Yums and Trashcan Darlings with Marky Ramone) and his missus, Line, who supplies voice. At a guess, I'd say they're big Ramones fans who discuss pinheads ad infinitum around the kitchen table. Read on to find out why...

"Dancing With Joey Ramone" is irresistible leath-clad pop with obvious subject matter. Mrs Dahlmann's bubblegum pitch is damn near perfect and the song's an all-round corker in the style of Nikki And The Corvettes. Greg Shaw would have killed to have issued this on Bomp. "I Want You All Around" isn't the tune of the same name but slips into the Bruddas' gym shoes with ease if not a little obviousness. Andre's lead vocal gets a neck massage from his wife's back-ups. It's not groundbreaking but it is very good.

"Holiday Road" is the National Lampoon's Vacation theme, played with a notch more verve and bounciness. Saccharine? Yes. Fun, too, 'cos you can't kill great pop. Speaking of, the closing "Didn't Tell The Man" hails from the Hitmen back catalogue/Radio Birdman outtakes collection, depending on your point-of-view and when you entered the ring. It's a chunkier and darker take than either of them and goes to show that great songs can be played inside-out by the right people without discernible loss of quality. I like it but can't vouch for the original writer's opinion as he was incommunicado overseas at the time of reviewing. Hell, he's probably glad Vikings are pillaging his songs rather than the village he lives in.

There's an album of this pending? Better grab a copy of this before everyone else does. You'll find it here. - The Barman

3/4

 

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