Dakota/Dakota - Shoot In The Dark (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Dakota / Dakota

Shoot In The Dark (2003)

Arms Reach

When it comes to the world of instrumental indie rock, there's two distinct subgenres - the headache-inducing and the headache-soothing. Headache-inducing bands would be ones that have dozens, if not hundreds of twists and turns in each and every song, making you wonder just what the melody was in the first place. See Hella, Iceburn, or the Volta Do Mar for some good points of reference. Headache-soothing bands, on the other hand, are ones that still have fun with the idea of tempo and meter, but understand the presence of a good melody, whether it be hypnotically eerie or beautifully serene. Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The Del Rey, Tristeza, or Pele would be nice places to start. For a long time, I've searched for a group that can not only tread the treacherous waters of both headache-soothing and inducing, but do it well.

Finally, I have found that group. And they are called Dakota/Dakota. This Chicago trio has fused together elements of chaotic discord found in their more math-rocky counterparts along with the sticky-sweet guitar and bass melodies that frequent many a Pele song. It makes for a surprisingly cohesive and fun listen.

The band's sense of humor is evident in their track titles - how many bands could actually get away with announcing "this next song is called 'Don't Pee In My Bed and Tell Me That It's Raining'" without having the audience laugh, scoff, or walk away in disgust? Dakota/Dakota realize that since there's no words, they might as well make as much of an impression as possible, and have fun doing it. Kudos.

The instrumentation of the band is your basic guitar/bass/drums combo, but the group isn't afraid to change things up a little bit. "Bruises Are Buttons For Pain" is only acoustic guitar, and is a nice segue into "No Matter How Hard I Try... I Never Remember The Alamo," which sounds like the best song instrumentally that The Ghost never wrote. The acoustic guitar makes another appearance alongside the full band in "Indian Givers, Cowboy Takers," which gives the track a more textured flavor.

While it's hard to really praise an all-instrumental band due to the obvious lack of lyrics and singing [two things which do take a significant amount of skill], Dakota/Dakota has enough musical chops and a good enough sense of melody to make up for the lost words. Definitely worth checking out.

Dakota/Dakota - Hamburger Help Us
Dakota/Dakota - Indian Givers, Cowboy Takers
Dakota/Dakota - No Matter How Hard I Try... I Never Remember The Alamo
Dakota/Dakota - Just Because You Can't See My Invisible Forcefield Doesn't Mean It's Not There