Danaya "By The Mark"
by Mike Brett
I used to love radio. In the 80s in Chicago, XRT still played funky shit and there were four or five truly great college radio stations I could pick up. What gave me the biggest kick was when a song came on that you had never heard. I closed my eyes and imagined what the band looked like just from their sound. Sometimes they ended up looking just like you thought-Nirvana, for example. And sometimes, they looked nothing like you thought they would-Dinosaur Jr, for example (I thought these guys would be real hot shit-like the Stooges, but they looked like a bunch of my friends' bonghead older brothers). On those evenings, I felt like I discovered this band
The internet has given me back that great feeling. There is a ton of free music out there, and it has taken me a while to find my sea legs. Now, I find most of my new music from trusted mp3 blogs-faves right now are Said the Gramophone
, and Gorilla vs. Bear
. I download and upload these mp3s and then wait for the aforementioned beloved sensation when that song pops up on my iTunes. I hurry over to see what is playing (a convenience I lacked in the days of transistor radios), and if it is someone I never heard of I smile.
In my mind's eye this week's band, Danaya, is a bunch of long-hairs with Judas Priest t-shirts pounding away at instruments, hell bent on recreating the late '70s right there in their garage. This songs should be the side one closer of an awesome prog metal album. First, it has two electric guitars (one's not enough, three's two away from Tesla). Second, it has some vintage synth work. And somewhere, around mid-song, they whip out (oh yes) the vocoder. Whoever the drummer in this band is, he can create a furious gallop which almost sounds as if it's gonna take this whole Danaya band off the cliff. The lyrics talk about the 'graveyard of your heart' and implore you to 'focus on your failures'-phrases which very well have been on the pages of my junior high notebook (along with repeated renderings of Led Zeppelin and Metallica logos). I don't know if Danaya can afford a theremin, but they managed to effect the sound none the less. Yes, this song is wickedly over-the-top. Christopher Walken's Glyn Johns would smile behind the booth's glass at this song's productions, sip on his cognac, and think "No, not one cowbell more." Enjoy.
Labels: Brett, Danaya