The song is king.
Toronto-based quartet has entrenched themselves into the solid foundation of innovative rock n roll in releasing debut effort Socializing With Life. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Joao Carvalho Socializing With Life is proof-positive that the past Five years of touring Ontario and Canada have done nothing but solidify The Dunes penchant for heartfelt songs based in muscular, catchy rock.
The Dunes music is liberated. One can hear calm comfort on Socializing With Life, a confident mixture of Radiohead-inspired dynamics and a Beatles-esque knack for harmony laid over Clash-styled boisterous, energetic backbeats.
The instinctual infusion of lilting melodies with anthemic choruses held together over rock solid rhythms gives The Dunes instant aural appeal without compromising their edge or grace. In other words, while they know how to hook you with lush melodies, theres no denying the grit underneath.
Our interest in diversifying our sound gives us uniqueness, notes guitarist Alistair Heath.
Pullen continues, We can embrace ballads, in-your-face rock or whatever the song calls for. Structure? Who needs it? Its confining. Why write the same song over and over again, adding that, a scene or a sound will go away but a good song will last forever.
Since the release of Socializing w/Life The boys had themselves a Top 40 rock radio hit with first single "Do it all the time" aswell as high rotation play for the songs video on Much Music Much More Music and Much Loud, also The dunes were awarde the Chart sizzler award by shooting up the Canadian College Charts 15places in the first week of release from #20 to #5. The press has been nothing short of amazing The Dunes were also voted by "Classic Rock Magazine" (UK) one of the top 15 bands to look out for in 2007 and thier single "do it all the time" was also included on the acompanying cd compilation. The Dunes completed thier first UK tour this past summer to rave reviews selling out Camdens Barfly. As of right now "Socializing" has been released in Canada Germany Austria Switzerland U.K. Netherlands and Korea ,they continue to write and perform and are half way through the recording of thier second album tenatively titled "bipolar bare".To see them live is to feel alive thier shows are high energy and have been described as "an audio truth explosion for your senses". Believe it!
Long live the king.
Kevin Pullen - Vocals/Guitar
John Dolinar - Bass/Vocals
Alistair Heath - Lead Guitar/Vocals
The Dunes are currently recording thier follow up Cd due out spring of 08
2006 Debut CD "Socializing with Life"
02. sunflower eyes
03. hurry up
04. calling all cars
05. the easiest
06. do it alll the time
07. rio grande
08. what you wanted
Lost, Kennedys, Calling all cars, Hurry up are streaming on Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/thedunesrock
Do it all the time, Easiest are streaming on Garageband.com: http://www.garageband.com/artist/thedunes
Socializing w/ Life recieved the "chart sizzler award" by storming into 2ndthplace on the Canadian college radio charts its first week
"Do it all the time" (first single) reached the top 40 on the Canadian Charts
Currently 5 tracks are recieving Radio Play on Rock Radio Stations throughout Canada and the World
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CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE "Collection of carefully constructed songs, and punchy guitar-led performance...CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE "Collection of carefully constructed songs, and punchy guitar-led performances that echo U2, Radiohead and others without being plagiaristic". Nov. issue
GET READY TO ROCK "Great songs, great vocal, tight playing"
MAVERICK "4 out of 5 stars Cracking good tunes from the rocking Dunes. Great album from a band that does exactly as their name suggests".
CLASSIC VR RADIO: "A clutch of songs that are well crafted, this is rock for the new century"
BLUES MATTERS: "The Dunes have got that quality to appeal to all".
CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE: "Socializing w/ Life" does have several redeeming melodies which are worth a listen - Solid tunes."
CLASSIC ROCK SOCIETY MAGAZINE: "The punchy, guitar based melodic rock certainly has New Wave undertones & some Beat era melodies & the simple nature of the songs make for a highly enjoyable album".
BURTON MAIL:"With strong vocals & highly individualistic lead guitar the end product is distinctive & more than interesting. In a parallel universe, the Dunes could be strutting their stuff as undisputed superstars".
THE DUNES Socializing With Life Curve Music (2006)
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The Dunes are the latest band from Canada seeking their big break. And on the strength of their debu...The Dunes are the latest band from Canada seeking their big break. And on the strength of their debut album, 'Socializing With Life', they could just be about to break lucky. They're a no frills rock band, Now - opening the album with a garage rock number that the early Alice Cooper band would have been proud of.
It's a cohesive, no nonsense set. And that's what sets the dunes apart. Together for 4 years and honed by constant touring of Ontario and Eastern Canada, the Toronto four piece have a solid, big league sound. Sunflower Eyes is melodic rock of the sort delivered by U2 in their softer moments, while Hurry Up also has an early U2 sound.
Calling All Cars is classic American radio friendly rock and has 'hit single' written all over it. The Easiest has a gentle acoustic opening before swelling into a rock ballad, again with hints of U2 and Bono in the chorus.
Do It All The Time adds a heavy riff - reminiscent of Bowie circa The Man Who Sold The World - to the mix to the, while Rio Grande is another number with a great groove - a real U2 influenced grower.
The final three tracks on the album What You Wanted, Kennedy's and Lost are all up to the same high standard - anthemic choruses over rock-solid rhythms. There's not a bad track on the album. Great songs, great vocals, tight playing. It's what U2 might have sounded like if they'd started out in the 1970's.
Review by Pete Whalley
Dig Dunes: Toronto rockers heat things up on a chilly night
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Jordan Bimm Issue date: 12/7/06 Section: Arts While watching the Dunes set up for their Tuesday...Jordan Bimm
Issue date: 12/7/06 Section: Arts
While watching the Dunes set up for their Tuesday night gig at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern, I made my way through the thin crowd of people to the edge of the large space in front of the stage. Not too bad for a Tuesday night, I thought. However, as the Toronto quartet readied themselves onstage, I saw the space fill in significantly, and in what seemed like the blink of an eye I was four or five rows back. Now playing to a packed room, the Dunes kicked off their Nu-Music Night set to a bona fide crowd cheering them on.
To be sure, a significant portion of the crowd looked to be of the Stella-sipping, Blackberry-wielding corporate career set, but that's to be expected, considering the Dunes have just signed a big-league record deal with Universal imprint Curve Music (Holly McNarland, Turn Off the Stars), and now have a shiny video ("Do it all the Time") in heavy rotation on Much Music.
The Dunes singer Kevin Pullen announced that "for the next 40 minutes or so we're going to give you a motherfucking rock show" as the band launched into a new song featuring a sing-along chorus which sounded like classic Clash colliding with the Cars. Treating the enthusiastic crowd (one dude flailing in front of the stage looked a sloppy drunk who'd just been force-fed six Red Bulls by his friends) to a mix of tunes off their recently re-realesed 2004 record Socializing With Life and new songs written in between their nearly-non-stop touring, the Dunes looked plenty happy to be back on home ice.
Drawing on a solid mix of rock influences, the Dunes are probably tired of all the Brit comparisons (but seriously, Pullen sounds like Chris Martin covering Bends-era Radiohead backed by U2 circa the Joshua Tree and a little Flaming Lips), so, to drop some Canadian names, their sound is like a more rocking Pilate (or "Pilot Speed" or whatever they're called now) or a less polite In-Flight Safety. There were also points in their set when they wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Sam Roberts or Stills compilation. A large part of this is thanks to Pullen's sweeping, stadium-filling vocals and electric stage presence.
That said, the rest of the band aren't slouches either. Drummer Todd MacDonald beat his kit like it was hiding his drink tickets, his booming kick filling the room, while guitarist Alistair Heath provided some mean melodic guitar licks. At one point I caught bassist Adam Koch dry humping his bass with one foot up on the stage monitor. Dude, be careful. Watch what happens to Steve Buscemi's character at the end of Airheads and you'll see what I mean!
The Dunes' high point was when they played their current single "Do it All the Time," which is a perfect drinking/party tune. Some smart beer company had better license the shit out of this song soon. Seriously.
The band wrapped things up to thunderous applause and calls for "one more," but due to the 'Shoe's respect for ironclad set-times, that had to be it. They're back on tour until the end of the year, but do yourself a favour, get wasted and rock out at a Dunes show next time they're back in town.
Tuesday, December 5
The Horseshoe Tavern
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The Dunes. Socializing w/Life. After re-mastering and re-working Socializing w/Life, this Toronto ba...The Dunes. Socializing w/Life. After re-mastering and re-working Socializing w/Life, this Toronto based-band was finally up to sending their masterpiece into open waters. The Dunes' debut album is a staggeringly original piece of work. While their sound can easily be compared to the Coldplay/Bends-era Radiohead compositional school, their debut album stretches beyond the confines of contemporary pop songwriting, boasting a lovely intermingling of jazz, blues, country and rock. Its soft ballads are surprisingly distinguished from one another and make a lasting impression on the listener. The lyrics are pretty abstract, but formulated in a way that leaves the songs up to the listener's interpretation, enabling him or her to identify with each track. The Dunes seem at ease abandoning traditional structures, both in individual songs and in an entire album, and this works to their advantage. This record and group is as good as Calories chocolate cheesecake; it's worth its weight in gold.
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SOCIALIZING w/LIFE The Dunes (Curve Music) *** 1/2 (out of five) Give The Dunes this...SOCIALIZING w/LIFE
*** 1/2 (out of five)
Give The Dunes this much - they're pretty serious about making a good first impression.
Rather than release their debut indie CD as is and see where the chips fall, the Toronto band polished up and remastered Socializing w/Life. Result? A bigger, better version of an already bad-ass disc. In a crowded field of hot new Toronto bands, they already have a leg up on the competition.
The 10 songs sway nicely from hard rock to heartfelt, with the new production punching up the meaty guitars and Kevin Pullen's spacey voice.
Rowdy beer hall rock like Do It All the Time and Calling All Cars stand out immediately, but the band sounds just as good dialing it down on Hurry Up and the slow dance specialty The Easiest.
Gimmicks still can't beat good tunes and a good game plan.
John Law is an award-winning entertainment writer for the Niagara Falls Review. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Socializing w/ Life album review
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CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE "Collection of carefully constructed songs, and punchy guitar-led performa...
CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE "Collection of carefully constructed songs, and punchy guitar-led performances that echo U2, Radiohead and others without being plagiaristic". Nov. issue
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The dunes were named one of 15 bands to look out for in 2007 in the February edition of Classic Rock...The dunes were named one of 15 bands to look out for in 2007 in the February edition of Classic Rock Magazine aswell as being included on the Compilation disc.
The Dunes rock Rancho Relaxo for CMW
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If asked “what were your expectations, playing at Canadian Music Week?” some artists would say “Li...
If asked “what were your expectations, playing at Canadian Music Week?” some artists would say “Lights, cameras, a river of Champaign and a spectacle of journalists, A&R reps and industry insiders clamoring for our attention.”
When asked the same question, Kevin Pullen, singer and rhythm guitarist of The Dunes said, “If we can get our music out to a few new people we’ll be happy.” This humble and healthy approach to music will be one of the important building blocks that will keep these blue collar Rockers prominently in the face of the Toronto indie scene. Like the pied piper, The Dunes music is creating an ever growing following of Dunes fans, from town to town and venue to venue. If you missed them, you don’t want that to happen again. From their Rancho Relaxo CMW set (The first venue they ever played at by the way), The Dunes are off to Guelph before coming back to The Mod Club, Gladstone, Savoy, Cadillac Lounge and somewhere in there, finding time to do a live feature for IndieCan.com.
The Dunes alt/rocked the Rancho Relaxo, breathing fresh life into the CMW weary midnight crowd. A packed house enjoyed a hot set and I am certain Kevin got his wish – a few new Dunes fans were added to their following. Keep these guys on your radar screen by following them at www.myspace.com/dunesrock.
The typical set list is songs from Socializing with Life with appoximately 9-10 tracks per set.
01. What will be
02. Cacophonic lullaby/never date an actor
03. calling all cars
04. We need a song
05. Settling in
06. shock you
07. Let it go
08. do it alll the time
09. i change
This set list contains alot of our new material and just the fan favourites off "socializing w/ life"
Sets are usaully 45 mins
we mix up songs from the record as well as some killer new ones we play a few covers when we feel the mood is right radioheads "blackstar" is one spacehogs "in the meantime" is another we have over an hour and half of our material.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.