The New Dress - Where Our Failures Are (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The New Dress

Where Our Failures Are (2007)

Red Leader

In about 34 minutes time, the New Dress provide some quaint, pleasant, sorta folk-punk in a drastically minimal setting.

Despite the band's setup, which consists solely of an electric guitar -- sometimes acoustic, sometimes dual -- and the voices of Bill and Laura, Where Our Failures Are manages to maintain some fair interest throughout its entire course. Thanks to a strong balance between the male and female leads and that folky edge, plenty of comparisons have been and will continue to be drawn to Defiance, Ohio. If there's anyone that's similar it's probably them, but one should still note the more elaborate presentation Defiance, Ohio typically takes on.

Where Our Failures Are is never entirely overwhelming, but there are standouts that bubble up every so often. The comparatively aggressive nature of opener "Setting Off Alarms" definitely demands some attention at the disc's commencement. There's also the jangly and uptempo title track, which previously appeared on the Generic Insight Radio Volume One compilation several months ago. They also throw down two covers: Billy Bragg's "I Don't Need This Pressure, Ron" and English teacher/songwriter Ed Pickford's "Workers' Song." The band takes a cool classicist approach with the latter, Bill and Laura's simultaneous delivery taking direct nods from half a century earlier; Where Our Failures Are is pretty rootsy itself, but they really get down to the basics here.

The New Dress definitely find their niche quickly on Where Our Failures Are, and while it's not quite outstanding, they have enough candor and musical skill to produce a worthwhile debut here.

I Don't Need This Pressure, Ron
Murderous Bugs with Giant Needle Knives
Where Our Failures Are