Fine Dining
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Fine Dining

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Honing in on the true power-pop indie rock song."

"Young band with lots of talent and an infectious stage presence." - Eric Leighton


Dining Debut

For the lads in Fine Dining, living on separate campuses—Ohio State and Ohio University—is both a blessing and a curse. Musical pen pals for the past two years, they’ve resurrected the proverbial indie pop spirit by traveling the narrow roads that connect the Capital City with the forest.

Though a decade removed from classic albums like Pavement’s Wowee Zowee and Sebadoh’s Bakesale, Fine Dining’s shambolic self-released debut, Debutantes and Dilettantes, bristles with that same worn-in, twee-loving, off-the-cuff vibe of four-track tapes informed by the collegiate lifestyle and weekend crushes.

Their revivalism is actually a breath of fresh air, though. The leading charge of the stuttered “Santiago’s Revenge” and the book-smart wit of “Amory and Irony” are packed with the “doo-doos,” the choppy power chords and the surprising turns that make Of Montreal and Superchunk endearing.

Thanks to the miles traveled between songwriting sessions, a good majority of the tracks acquired charming bits of rust and gravel, giving “High Speed Chase” and “Here Comes the Warm Jet” a weathered crunch that doesn’t erode the melodies.

But then again, that chasm makes their debut a mixed bag. Slackerisms aside, a lack of practice and the members’ widely differing influences inject a few misses into the action. “Stranded” reveals a penchant for heart-on-sleeve cuteness while “Slated to Bomb” is too mathematic for its own good. Neither works well among the otherwise cheeky proceedings.

Still a relatively young band, Fine Dining has plenty of time to finish up their degrees and solidify a sound that’s already blossoming. This full-length, along with 2004’s Style and Gallantry EP, shows that Columbus’ (and Athens’) love of brainy, quirky pop has not yet faded.

Fine Dining will celebrate the release of Debutantes and Dilettantes on Saturday, November 12, at Larry’s. —Kevin Elliott - Kevin Elliott


Fine Dining — guitarists David Holmes and Chris DeVille, drummer Jerry Green and bassist Doug Patterson — has released the debut Debutantes and Dilettantes.

From the first note, the album signals something special. 'Santiago’s Revenge' cuts loose with Superchunk’s rampant energy, rides on a melody as offhanded as one of Pavement’s and is as catchy as a Shins tune. The album keeps up the pace for the length and gets quirkier. - Aaron Beck


Regarding the Style & Gallantry EP:

"5 quick diverse (and masterful) tunes infested with indie rock melodies and retro stomp." - Matthew Indiedrum


Happy New Year everyone! On this first day of 2006, I'd like to (finally) tell you about an album that turned out to be one of my surprise favorites of 2005. Fine Dining's debut full-length release, Debutantes and Dilettantes, is one hell of a start to a career. The college-aged band, with members based both in Columbus and Athens, has created an album of witty, intelligent rock and pop songs that I will clumsily describe as "classic indie rock," if that means anything. Fine Dining's alternating lead singers and songwriters, Chris DeVille and David Holmes, do commonplace things like tell stories and sing about relationships, but have a style that uses imagery, language, and emotion to create songs that convey their message very effectively. One of my favorite examples comes from "The Ocean Froze," a story about a failed relationship:

"And when we took a ski vacation,
There was no precipitation
Just grassy hills
Not suitable for winter thrills
Still we clung to love
Against our wretched wills"

Great stuff. The songs range from moody pop tunes (with nice keyboard touches) to uptempo rockers with ample amounts of rock-star guitar. The boys are skilled at changing speed and volume within songs to create the desired backdrop for the emotion of the moment. I don't normally listen to music like this (which is why I'm not going to compare them to other bands), but I think I may just start.

Of course, they don't just record sweet songs, they also perform them live! So for you Columbus types, I highly recommend checking out their show at Skully's this Wednesday, January 4th. Also performing are two of my other favorite local bands, Mors Ontologica and Heroes of History, adding up to a blockbuster bill. Check out http://www.skullys.org/ or http://www.vssrecords.com/ for more info. See you there. - Andrew Patton


Debutantes and Dilettantes contains more hits than misses with four or five radio-worthy jems ripe to infect our collective subconscious. Throughout the disk, the group combines the Oooh Hoo's and Laa Laa's of The Get Up Kids with the occasionally dissonant tunings and odd song structures of bands like Pavement and The Dismemberment Plan. They go on to add a smidgen of Superchunk's wall-of-guitar sound and urgent vocals. Mix it all up, and you have the current sound of Fine Dining.

This group is known to craft catchy melodies and lyrics. The song "My Hit Single", which appeared on their 2004 EP release, is a perfect example of their sardonic and marketable writing style. Since then, fans of the band have been known to exclaim, "Please, someone! Play that Macarena song. I need something to get this Fine Dining song from 2004 out of my head!" Seriously, that's how infectious some of their songs can be. Their latest disk, "Debutantes and Dilettantes" continues that tradition of infectious song writing.

My favorite track on their current disk is a little virus called "Santiago's Revenge." It's a short and sweet indie-pop song that, at points, comes close to being a hard rock song from the 70's. My wife and I actually listened to this song about six times in a row one night while driving home to Athens after band practice. Whether intentional or by accident, singer and guitarist, David Holmes, does an uncanny impersonation of David Bowie during the chorus that is both unexpected and attention grabbing. The hook, oddly enough, is not lyric based but guitar based. Listeners are more apt to walk away from the song humming the guitar line than anything else.

A sucker for non-traditional song structures, I fully appreciated the amped-up ending for the tracks "Stranded" and the multi-bridged "Rattlin' The Bricks"--which also wins this band the "Pavement" award due to their use of dissonant chords and for the noise-explosion ending. Another song of note was "Here Comes the Warm Jet" during which, the room was fully explored with a cowbell. Hats off to the drummer for pulling that one off. David Bowie also makes a return appearance on the track "Afternoon Tea."

Overall, this disk demonstrates the enormous potential of Fine Dining. Performance wise, you couldn't ask more from the group. A fresh mix and re-master could push the disk from "local release" status into "national release" status. Unfortunately things like that take time and money. Perhaps everything will fall in place the next time Fine Dining makes a trip to the studio. Until that day... "Heeeeey Macarena!" - Matthew Toledo


Discography

Debutantes and Dilettantes (2005)
1.Santiago's Revenge
2.High Speed Chase
3.Stranded
4.Amory & Irony
5.Slated to Bomb
6.Here Comes the Warm Jet
7.The Plunge
8.The Ocean Froze
9.Rattlin' the Bricks
11.Afternoon Tea

"Style & Gallantry" EP (2004)
1.Stuck In My Chair
2.Here Comes the Warm Jet
3.My Hit Single
4.Queen Marie
5.The Plunge

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Jerry Green was tapping woefully on his steel drum outside a small cabana in the Carribean when David and Doug, two offshore naval officers, heard his flawless sense of Latin rhythm, sad and gentle, as it floated across the warm tropical sunset. The sound was so soothing in fact that for a fleeting moment, David felt the first hint of relief from the Rickets he had acquired at sea. Immediately, the two sailors resolved to honorably discharge themselves from the armed services and start a band with their new friend.

Unfortunately, although David had written many songs that had provided hours of entertainment for his rowdy shipmates, he had neither the confidence nor the stature to front a band all by himself. Then, like manna from heaven, the three comrades heard delicate plucking and a voice as sweet as honey coming from atop a nearby cliffside. Jerry immediately climbed this steep, jagged slope and by nightfall, the mysterious balladeer whose name was DeVille had christened the four men, Fine Dining.

Before long, they were playing shows all over the Ohio countryside with mixed results. But as the band gelled and discovered a sound of their own, they were soon playing for crowds of ten or twenty men in the lascivious barrooms of Athens and Columbus. They recorded a charming EP in Andy Schreiber's attic and then released the acclaimed Debutantes and Dilettantes, recorded at 3 Elliott Studio with producer Josh Antonuccio (Southeast Engine, Cosigner) at the helm. Shortly afterward, Doug returned to his one true love, the sea. But the band pressed on, enlisting the services of a young gentleman named Zachary and preparing its best crop of songs yet.