World Famous in Chapel Hill
Yes, it is possible, in this era of derivative sameness, for pop to still have original ideas, and The Billy Dechand Band proves it with their new CD, World Famous in Chapel Hill. Diverse, exciting, and unique, the music is a study in contrasts: at different times we hear them as psychedelic freaks, indie rockers, harmonizing popsters, swampy blues guys, Afro-pop prophets, beach philosophers, and angry young idealists. They pull no punches with their lyrics, which shed a different light on politics, religion, and the American way of life. Their uncanny combination of elegance and rawness begins with the gently psychedelic, Bowie-esque 'Hard Moon Crash,' followed by 'Water on the Ocean' with exotic percussion and beautiful harmonies. 'Beware' follows with even more lush harmonies, managing to sound both soothing and ominous at the same time. It's like the Beach Boys on a rainy day, yet with a sudden attack of frenetic Afro-pop bursting forth in the middle. It gets heavier when they address high-school bombings in 'Flip the Switch,' with a wall of guitars and crazy parallel vocals. The fable of the 2000 election is retold in 'The Emperor Has No Votes.' 'Fu Fu Bunny' skewers nuclear arms proliferation--despite it's name, don't play this one for the kiddies. The madness goes on: surprise horn appearances, odd polyrhythms, middle-eastern guitar solos, and even the splashings of a remote island beach. This is a special CD with varied sounds and styles heard nowhere else. These guys are truly original.