Public Dims
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Public Dims

San Juan Capistrano, California, United States | SELF

San Juan Capistrano, California, United States | SELF
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"Public Dims- Vent Somewhere Else"

I sit on a half assembled couch, sadly collapsing into the porch below, staring off aimlessly into the distance. You watch people stroll by in a daze, a blur of disillusions and plain exhaustion. It’s understandable and relatable, yet more importantly, I believe it demonstrates a certain sense of passivity we all as humans exhibit. So much in our lives are simply given to us with no reason or rhyme, both the good and bad. We always find a way to go with the flow, if you will, and it is this spirit that I believe best defines Public Dims, particularly with their recent “Vent Somewhere Else“. A two piece based out of Southern California, Public Dims takes a surfer billy sound and adds remnants of lofi, garage, blues, and psychedelic into one EP, giving moments that resemble Nodzzz, Meth Teeth, and Fungi Girls. Those are the few that come to my mind at least: at times, I even feel bold enough to say the vocals resemble early Liars, but that’s a different story. “Lorimer” clearly stands out as the albums greatest stand alone, with a kick ass musc video featuring chopped up scenes from El Topo, a great experimental western. Yet I’d rather spend this time to focus on the EP as a whole because, frankly, what truly makes a great album is the flow of one song to the next. This is a point that Public Dims is particular capable in doing. It’s not over done or drawn out: the songs are to the point yet always seems to retain a unity of mood throughout the album as a whole. Despite to say, looking at one piece of the puzzle at a time does no one any service so my recommendation is to take a seat, perhaps watch “A Boy And His Dog” on mute (great 70’s sci-fi apocalyptic movie, netflix‘ it), and enjoy yourself to a 15 min trip. Take a listen and tell me what ya think despite to say that I’m glad to have an album to make sense of all this summer mind trips and nostalgia. - Sick Of The Radio


"Public Dims- Vent Somewhere Else EP Review"

Public Dims, a male 'n' female duo in crime from San Juan Capistrano, have a great psychedelic/western twang and swing about themselves and recently played with White Mystery (who I know you read about just the other while ago) at one of your favourite record stores. Their simple rhythms, both drum and treble'd guitar, along with lazy woe-some vocals make for some catchy garage rock. Call it surfy, call it bluesy, call it country, call it what you will - this EP captures an essence of rock and roll...though some of you will be looking for that important driving low end; the last piece to make a power trio. If you need a super catchy tune to get you started, check out their fan-favourite, Lorimer - but stay away from Head Cold Letters - it unfortunately distracts from the gut wrenching melancholy psychedelia through out the rest of this release. But you should definitely take a listen to the entire album. It's not gonna hurt to take less than half an hour out of your day. These cats are working on a new tape out and an October tour, hopefully somewhere near you. If not, then watch the music video, download this one for FREE, and when that tape surfaces BUY IT. - Die Pop Tapes


"Public Dims Tumblr Tags"

Links to Public Dims embeds and reviews on Tumblr - Tumblr


"Public Dims- Vent Somewhere Else EP Review"

When I posted this on my Tumblr site the other day I simply added the following comment: “The band sound a bit like they’ve had a stroke, but I like it.” That rather glib remark was made having only listened to the song in the video above, but its conclusion remains pretty much valid even after having heard the whole of Vent Somewhere Else, an EP which you can download for free from their Bandcamp page.

With the exception of the absolutely brilliant Crystal Swells, this might be the closest to completely unravelling of all the lo-fi stuff I’ve been so into recently. It’s not quite as ear-meltingly ace as Goethe Head Soup, I have to confess, and at times doesn’t quite manage to keep its head above the general sludge of de-tuned noise, but there are nevertheless some great things going on here.

The EP starts out as woozy blues and slides into rock ‘n’ roll before almost petering out altogether in the narcotic stupor of Suave’s Next Door. Lorimer just about wakes it up again, but the descending guitar progression in that song still sounds much like the fading of the light as you gradually drift into an alcoholic coma. Or like trying to talk when you’re absolutely hammered and only managing a mumbled slur, no matter how hard you try and focus.

As long as, on future recordings, they can pierce the general fug created by their actual recording style with enough nimbleness then I reckon this lot could turn out to be a pretty bloody promising band.
- Song By Toad


"Public Dims- Vent Somewhere Else EP Review"

PUBLIC DIMS are a duo hailing from San Juan Capistrano, with a promising debut echoing the freshness and vibrancy from some of the very best bedroom bands around.

This offering could have reached the apogee of lo-fi craftsmanship – I really love vocals that occasionally could mistake themselves for stertorous noises or microphones dropping – vocals which are not readily consumable nor acceptable for normative record label conglomerates and are merely mutterings trapped within the minutia of guitar distortion and symbol thrashing. I really, for example, liked Dalek’s “Gutter Tactics” for the way they immersed vocals in to the music, uncentering the voice musically in the same way Derrida disassembled the phonocentric notion that the spoken word is merely a supplement to the written word. It sounds occasionally like a twangy and less refined “Badlands” with a vocal which sounds distinctly familiar, like a more annoying Matt Whitehurst, but then I am not sure.

This is a good thing in most respects (I really like both Dirty Beaches and Psychedelic Horseshit) and it certainly shows an artist full of promise. A band who I believe could and will produce fantastic material in the future. The reason everything doesn’t quite gel as desired is because there is a lack of heterogeneity to the material in this collection which presents a monotonicity problem when listening in one sitting.

It could also be because there is a conglomeration of too many ideas cluttering up the final product as suggested by another reviewer. The ending track, for example, “Give In A Little”, posits a visceral early Pink Reason sound-scape which was already poignant throughout the entire record. This offers the listener brooding noise and interesting combinations but these combinations seem to occupy the whole record except the opening track “Numb Shuffle”, offering a rhythm section which percolates twangy reverberation all over the vocal and is probably the highlight of the collection for this reason alone.

It is definitely worth the clicking effort required in downloading this for free and argues the case for massive headphones with puffy earlobes for listening to this without the aid of these implements may result in missing some of the idiosyncrasies in the bass and guitar synchronization. Give this a listen, by clicking below to download the whole album from Bandcamp, or listen to individual tracks right here. - The Styrofoam Drone


"Introducing: Public Dims"

By Mariana Timony

Public Dims are a brand new band from San Juan Capistrano, whom you’ll be hearing soon, if you haven’t gotten hip yet. I’ll forgive you, for now, because Public Dims are so new that if the band were babies, they wouldn’t even have started to crawl. Not that you’d be able to tell from their debut EP Vent Somewhere Else: a 5-song blast of kicky lo-fi laments that put an art-rock spin on the old country and blues records the band enjoys.

Made up of guitarist/singer Jesse and drummer Shaan, Public Dims started making music together in December of last year, put out their EP in May, and just began playing shows around Southern California in June. It’s really cool to witness a band so fresh out of the void, especially one as exciting as Public Dims, and all of us at Get Bent! were thrilled when they agreed to be interviewed.

Our chat took place on a street corner in a completely ghetto part of Los Angeles right before Public Dims were due to play at this weird downtown warehouse. Ironically enough, I didn’t get to see their set: the entire night was delayed by the arrival of an equally weird Australian goth band, who came complete with modern dancer, body paint, and terrible music. Fortunately, I was able to catch Public Dims two weeks later at a super cool warehouse where the band put on a great show and confirmed that the 5-months they took to practice and record before playing out were well spent.

It’s hard to sum up their music in facile genre terms, especially based on a single release, but I’d pitch it somewhere between the twangy post-punk of Dragnet-era Fall and the experimental scuzz pop of middle-era Royal Trux. The arty tones of Country Teasers, a band Shaan really likes, are also part of Public Dims’ musical make-up.

Public Dims themselves, like most bands that are still in the early stages of forming their sound, are resistant to self-identify; at least Jesse is. When asked to name his musical influences, he replies, “I get weird about labels. That’s up to the listener. Whenever people ask me to describe music I’ve made, it’s always super awkward. I kind of tell them, ‘It’s just there. I did it.’”

Jesse’s not really a fan of write ups that reduce his band’s music to simplistic, umbrella terms like rock and roll or blues. He’s got a more abstract (and interesting) take on what his twangy, reverb-heavy guitar playing resembles: “I’m not really into electric blues like the Chicago stuff. It never really hit me. I always wondered, if you gave Son House or Skip James an electric guitar and told them that they couldn’t play with their fingers, what they would do. That’s what I try to do. I don’t really succeed, but I try.”

Luckily, he’s got Shaan to back him up with her simple, solid beats bashed out on a drumkit cobbled together from pieces of lesser kits. Though Shaan keeps it basic on purpose, she’s quite inventive in the way she breaks up the rhythm of the songs with a single crash cymbal and thinks adding a hi-hat would overly-complicate things. Her straightforward approach to drumming grounds Jesse’s loose riffs and suits the music, which is a conscious choice. “I like how it sounds when a band keeps it real and keeps it simple. Just to play what’s appropriate and not try and take over,” she says.

Jesse also tries to keep it simple with his songwriting, especially when it comes to lyrics. “Lyrics are kind of a funny thing. I used to play by myself with just an acoustic guitar and I used to write a lot of lyrics. My songs would be very lyric-heavy, but that started to not taste so good in my mouth anymore. Lyrics are always really important to me; lyrics are how I got into music, but in a lot of Public Dims songs, there’s not that many lyrics. They’re kind of spaced out. It’s that way on purpose, so if there’s going to be 8 lines in the song, they’re going to mean something, but there’s only 8 lines in the song for a reason. I’ve done it both ways and right now I’m more comfortable not writing as many.”

Both Jesse and Shaan are California kids who’ve lived elsewhere, but gravitated back to southern Orange County, where an encouraging scene has sprouted up in recent years. Public Dims are grateful for the support they’ve received as they’ve begun to play out. Jesse says, “A bunch of local bands that I have a good amount of respect for have wanted to play shows with us. I think right now Long Beach and Costa Mesa have a pretty good community of musicians to be around when you’re just trying to start out because everyone supports each other, everyone knows each other, and I feel good about it.”

Public Dims name Green Screen Door, TRMRS, Some Days, and Tommows Tulips as cool bands in their area that they’ve either played with or would like to play with; who they play with is kind of important to the band. “We’re not going to turn down shows, but we’d like to play shows with people that we respect and like,” says Shaan. They definitely feel lucky to have received both assistance and enthusiasm from their friends. “A lot of bands dont get that chance.”

One thing I notice when watching Public Dims play live is that their songs have much more immediacy than they do on record. Vent Somewhere Else has a muted quality, mostly due to Shaan’s drums being so low in the mix. Live, her bouncing beats are more prominent and bring a heaviness to the music that cuts through haze of the EP. This difference is probably due to the way it was recorded, which didn’t turn out according to plan. “I have this 4-track machine that’s really only a 3-track, as I found out later,” explains Jesse. “But since there’s only 2 of us, that was ok. It came out better than I thought it was going to.”

They’re currently practicing and writing new material, which is done at Shaan’s “live-warehouse-work spot,” and have some new songs they’d like to put out soon. Goals for the immediate future are to keep booking shows and eventually go on tour, with New York and New Orleans picked as specific cities they’d like to play. It makes a lot of sense, really, since the band’s music takes the framework of deep delta blues and overlays it with the noisiness of New York post-punk. It may not be the most natural pairing, but Public Dims make it work through dedication to the punk aesthetic of the latter and the honesty of the former. “We just want to keep it genuine,” says Shaan.

The next EP, which Public Dims hopes to release before the end of the summer, will probably be recorded on the same 3-track machine as Vent Somewhere Else, so if you want to get a better idea of what Public Dims sound like live, you’ll have to help the band out a little. “If someone has a nice reel-to-reel, that’d be cool,” says Shaan. Adds Jesse, “If you’re out there, we’re looking!”

So there you are, ladies and gentlemen: Public Dims. Read our review of Vent Somewhere Else, download it for free from bandcamp, listen to it, love it, go see a show, and never let it be said I did nothing for you. - Get Bent!


"Vent Somewhere Else EP Review"

By Mariana Timony

San Juan Capistrano duo Public Dims (Jesse plays guitar and sings, Shaan plays drums) sure make a swampy noise on their 5-song EP Vent Somewhere Else, available for free through bandcamp. Spooky, scuzzy, and Southern (Californian, that is), the Dims deliver a super lo-fi mélange of delta drone and psych-blues that reminds me a bit of the unjustly forgotten Quix*O*Tic and also Dead Moon, only with more twang. The record starts with an upbeat rockabilly number before downshifting into a steady series of primitive boneyard howlers. Stand out track is “Lorimer”, which has a groovy descending guitar phrase and a beat you can really swing your hips to. Some songs drag under the weight of too many ideas, but, then again, it all started at the crossroads. Public Dims are on the right track. - Get Bent!


Discography

Vent Somewhere Else EP
(Released April 2011)

Photos

Bio

Public Dims began in mid-2010 after Jesse Striff (Guitar & vocals) and original drummer Shaan Bevan started playing together in Shaan's live-in warehouse space in Southern California. They agreed to stay a two-piece, and gradually, songs were written. A deep, reverb-laden guitar tone formulated itself around Jesse's twangy, delta drone riffs and jerky shuffles. Shaan's insistence on a minimal drum setup worked in their favor, as her rhythms were based on only the essentials, which provided the perfect bed for Jesse's Telecaster barking. Upon completing recording in the spring of 2011, they released their first EP, entitled Vent Somewhere Else. It wove together brittle strands of pre-war blues, drunk country meandering and selective cells of post-punk, wrapping them around a voice, an old Music Man combo and three drums.

Soon after, the live shows began, and the band made it a point to play in as many different areas as possible around the region. By the fall, Shaan had left for London to study design at Central St. Martins, and Jesse enlisted prolific Utah-noise-maker Chaz Costello to pound out the rhythms. The two embarked on their first tour in mid-October, heading up the west coast and down through the desert, sleeping in cars and on floors, trying to make as much noise as possible.

A new batch of songs are currently being recorded and will see a release early next year as the band gets ready for a tour of the South in spring.