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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

911 - Dial 911

Name: 911
Album: Dial 911
Year: 1981
Style: New Wave
Similar Bands: Cretones, Survivor, Mad At The World
One Word Review: Dark Synth Power Metal
Based Out Of: Philadelphia, PA
Label: World Wide Records
 Dial 911 - Cover, Liner Photo, Record
Dial 911 - Back, Liner Notes, Record
Dial 911 (1981)
  1. Working Hard 3:39
  2. Final Connection 3:29
  3. Gamma Radio 3:43 /
  4. Dial 911 3:04
  5. Social Risk 2:50
  6. Bound & Determined 3:24
Album Rating (1-10): 6.5

Members & Other Bands: X
Joe McSorely - Producer, Engineer (Reds, Shades)
John Masi - Vox, Guitar, Lyrics
Dan Michael - Bass & Vox
Michael Rosato - Piano, Synth, Vox
Dave Columbo - Drums, Percussion, Vox
 Mike Lafferty - Asst. Engineer
Ted Jensen - Mastering
Ken Goodman - Managment
Dave Taylor - Equipment
James Scully - Equipment
Richard Menaquale - Equipment
Anthony Ordille - Equipment
Steve Werblun - Logo Design
CWAM 3 / Mohacey - Photography
Kimberlee Sautter - Album Design
Odile Soroka - Album Design

Unknown-ness: I've never heard of this band. I picked it up, surprisingly, because it is from a bit later of an era than I usually buy. But I liked the simple cover and back, it is a short EP, they are local to Philly, and I like the energy in the liner sleeve’s photos. From the photos, I’d guess they are a typical new wave, pub rock band.

Album Review: Not much is available about these guys out there on the world wide web, even for a record label called world wide records. The one site with a very brief band description (selling a copy of the record) claims them to be Synth Punk / New Wave.

“Working Hard” has a zoomy intro with synth effects and new wave-power pop melody. The build up to the chorus is steady, but it doesn’t deliver with the emotional release it sets up. The break down falls into the same pattern of build up without a release…instead it returns to the verse. The song continually resets itself, and never escapes a droning loop.
“Final Connection” is a pub rock power pop song with lots of new wave energy. The synth effects and what sounds like a synth drum take frontal focus in this driving, exercise montage of a song.
“Gamma Radio” is slow to build, and once it gets going, soaring electric guitars offer the imagery of an defunct & abandoned manufacturing plant. The vocals are a little deeper but still nasally as they interweave with the melody. This is the sound of sleek, yet dirty cop dramas, while still hanging on to the synthesizer. And the fluid vocals sound vaguely British.

“Dial 911” begins with a bouncy playful synth line that is quickly replaced with a zooming guitar, and them it changes to a different synth effect melody. The song is played in a minor key, offering a desperate and abstract-like dream. Slightly evil, but mostly scared and nervous. It features a close comparison to Squeeze’s Difford/Tilbrook’s overlapping vocals in the chorus. An ambulance siren effect is incorporated into the song. This paranoid dance song changes direction to a power guitar driven song in the very end, and it includes a fade out.
“Social Risk” has a dark power guitar intro with synth effects overlaid. While the music is nervous, the vocals are taking their time while they use the instrument melody as a guide. The first set of synth effects feel more at home with softer, later 80’s adult pop.
“Bound & Determined” is a driving rock song, and it transitions to a dark metal song, with prog keyboard effects. The chorus breaks out of the gloom with sterile crystalline synth effects and a much more upbeat melody. But post-chorus, the song retreats back to the darkness, with the synth effects tagging along to give variety to the song. Overall, it sounds like a much more appealing version of the christian group Mad at the World.

Stand Out Track: Dial 911

Worth Point

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