Monday, December 7, 2009

The Don'ts and Be Carefuls

Risk Assessment (Self Released, 12.09)

For: DD/MM/YYYY, Black, Black Ocean, Les Savy Fav

Byline: Solid Dance-punk destined to be blasting out of all the discos in Denver. Denver has discos right?

The term "don'ts and be carefuls" refer to a time when the motion picture industry was ruled by an arcane fist of proposed morality stemmed from it's creator Willy Hays. The Hays code as it was known prescribed rules of what could not, under any circumstances, be shown on screen as well as an inumerable list of things that might be objectionable and would probably fall swiftly under the editors razor blade. The Don'ts were:

1. No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.

2. Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.

3. Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.

The "be carefuls" were pretty much everything else you see in films today.

After this tyrannical set of rules were lifted Hollywood was free to display the debauchery of: A man and wife in the same bed together, women driving, "excessive and lustful kissing". Next stop: hardcore pornography on television. Phew, luckily we have the rating system.

Well, none of this has anything to do with the Denver dance-punk band The Don'ts and Be Carefuls, but they have a clever name, clever lyrics, probably clever haircuts. D & BC are cut from a broad swath of post-punk swagger that blew up in the 2005's married with the reckless abandon of the dance-punk of the classics Q and Not U and Dismemberment Plan. The only difference between them and the post-punk revivalists from across the pond is A: They are from Denver. B: I can listen to them without wanting to throw up. Their relatively short six song first offering boasts some chops that would be envied by a band in the scene for awhile. Each song is bastioned by a punchy dance tempo, plenty of high-hat tips and huge drum rolls, angular guitar work, clever songwriting delivered by Casey Banker's nasally faux-British that at times recalls a higher pitched Isaac Brock but shares a close distinction to Denver dance punk vets Black, Black Ocean. D & BCs know how to pack some incredibly catchy numbers into a relatively conservative space. "Simple Miracles" and "The New World" hit every switch to ensure a rave up of a dance party. These songs are effortless in their delivery and inspire a knee jerk reaction of toe tapping. The EP flounders a bit in the middle section, coming a little to close to Arctic Monkeys territory for a handful of No-Coast dance punk kids (I mean does Denver even have discos?). Risk Assessment ends on a high note with "Insomnia", and with that leaves a good impression and ensures repeated listening. I heard these guys are going on some sort of hiatus, bummer, I guess that cuts the chances of them ever making it down to Salt Lake City significantly.

Ryan H.

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