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  Powerwalking EP 
Artist: Always Sunday
Label: Independent release 
Length: 6 tracks, length: 21:22 

When I heard that the band Kelly Wingate had broken up I was quite disappointed.  With just two CDs to their credit, this band from Oxford, MS was one of my favorites, with their disc Are You Sleeping, Love on my list of top discs for 2001 (though it was actually released in 2000).  After the demise of Wingate, lead vocalist Trent Dabbs went on to form The Sunset Manual.  When that band went under, he and bassist Dean Clement joined with former Castor Pollux members Winn McElroy and Andrew Ratcliffe, to form this new outfit.

While Dabbs brings his unique vocal stylings to Always Sunday,  the sound is something altogether different than the slo-core/dreampop of KW.  This is pleasant, fairly up-tempo indie-rock with an edge.  Laid-back yet fun music, all sung with a nudge and a wink, and occasionally a tongue firmly in cheek.  

The disc starts out with "Reason 365" with its wry lovelorn lyrics: 

       Now do you want something more of this something less 
       Or nothing more of this nothingness, of this nothingness 
       There's got to be something left. 

"Above Me" is another song of love with its refrain of : 

       Wish you could sing like Marvin Gaye 
        And even have a song when the music doesn't play 

Dabbs is a brilliant wordsmith, and even takes a shot or two at his own industry.  In "Pop Rock Star" he asks: 

       Pop Rock Star, what's your secret? 
        Searching hard to find your weakness 
        Not quite sure why your head's so high 
        Tell me who do you represent? 

Followed by a refrain of: 

        The answers come quickly 
        When they involve you 
        Depends on the scenery and now... 
        Tell me who am I talking to? 

This is a head-bopping, toe-tapping collection of songs that is just too dang short.  A basic quartet featuring guitars and rhythm section, the music sounds fairly simple, but is quite infectious.  Bring on a full-length CD, boys.  We're ready, we can take it.
 

Ken Mueller 10/7/02 

   
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