May 19, 2005

Watchers "Dunes Phase"

Angular indie-rock dance music that doesn’t sound like a funk band gone wrong? Yeah, it’s kind of amazing, but they do exist. Watchers have been around for many years now, though their recorded output has been minimal. If you want an indication as to what they sound like, the fact that they’ve toured as legendary No-Wave funkster James Chance’s “Contortions” probably says more than anything a bio could say. It’s that sort of sound that you’ll find on Dunes Phase: short funky rock-based dance numbers that’s sort of retro, sort of not, with jerky guitars taking the place of more traditional rhythms. They’re funky, as you can hear on “Mono Mano” and “The Sway,” and yeah, they’ve got a great beat, too. Vocals are a cross between David Byrne and Ian Svenonious, and you can take that however you want to. At times Dunes Phase seems too short, other times, it seems to be a bit monotonous, but each listen is always fascinating.

--Joseph Kyle

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