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Dikes of Holland, Voyagers of Legend

Dikes of Holland and The Young

Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Nov. 26, 2010

Texas Platters

Dikes of Holland

(Sundae Records)

The Young

Voyagers of Legend (Mexican Summer)

Like a spitfire punk version of the Band, Dikes of Holland takes a Russian roulette approach to songwriting and live performances, trading instruments and lead vocals on nearly every number. That versatility – unapparent on earlier 7-inch singles – works wonders on the local quintet's debut full-length, a grimy chain reaction of psychotic post-punk. Guitarist Trey Reimer heads the most fully formed endeavors: "Sunrise," "No Desire," and "Get Your Shovels Out," the latter recalling the climax to a No Wave Western. Producer John Paul Bohon retreats to the garage for the drunken bop of "I've Brothers Everywhere," while When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth sideman Chris Anton fronts the Crampsian boogie "Out of Nowhere" and plows "Into the Ditches" straight through the guardrail. Elizabeth Hererra proves the X-factor, a femme turning fatal in freak-out "Anymore." Fellow Casual Victim Pile alum the Young treks similar terrain, only at half the speed on its proper debut for tastemaking NYC indie Mexican Summer. Originally a one-man act, Hans Zimmerman still leads this Austin fourpiece, delivering huge fuzz-tone guitar leads and even stronger hooks. Limited to 1,000 copies, Voyagers of Legend merges psych-pop and noise into dank punk ballads in a manner not heard locally since the halcyon clamor of Trance Syndicate Records. With the album at times too distorted for its own good, standout "Bird in the Bush" and its instantly familiar refrain of "Maybe I'll just fade away" proves the Young's national potential.

(Both) ***

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