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Dom Casual 

Espanta Muerto
[self-released]

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Dom Casual may be named after a typeface, but their eclectic tastes—Golden Age rock sounds like rockabilly, surf instrumentals and the Brit Invasion—always gave their name another context. Maybe you pictured some conniving hipster villain with curled moustache, wringing his hands as though in a '60s exploitation flick? Too bad, but excusable.

Led by songwriter Jamie McLendon through various incarnations, Dom Casual has played with those bronzed templates, oftentimes riding the line between homage and heartfelt personal storytelling: On the band's latest, Espanta Muerto, they've created a fully-formed, rich-sounding, original testament to their touchstones, at last overcoming the homage burden. The lineup—McLendon on vocals and guitar; Andy Shull on guitar, trumpet and organ; Sean Murphy on guitar and organ; Jeff Umbarger on bass; Steve Carter on drums—is the most constant and experienced Dom Casual yet. So moods strike deeper, like on the title track, a spellbinding Ennio Morricone homage. There's the soul-searching "Dear Heart," where a warm chorus of voices—including McLendon's occasionally Orbison-esque croon, plus some textural rockabilly twang—sounds with conviction.

What's most evident here, though, is McLendon's fully-developed inner voice, a confessional, curious persona: On the brilliant organ-driven Doors/Bunnymen creeper "Green Lights," McLendon explores a mysterious sighting in the sky near Efland. All along, he's trying—by interpretations of God and man, dreams, or music—to seek truths.

Dom Casual throws a CD release party Friday, Feb. 22, at Broad Street Cafe. Two Dollar Pistols join the bill with one of its final sets.

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Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

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There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

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Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Remember that time the "journalist" took to the comments section to fire off a snarky response when called out on …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure that if the press release we received had mentioned Chris Grubbs, the article would have reflected that crucial …

by David Klein on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure John Meier hasn't been in this band for quite some time and Chris Grubbs wrote and recorded this …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

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