Dexter Freebish: The Best of (The Other Side)

Dexter Freebish was one of those dot com-era bands that bridged a gap between alt-pop powerhouses that were slowly fading (think Toad the Wet Sprocket or Hootie) and those that were embracing their independence like never before (The Clarks, Better Than Ezra). There simply isn’t ever a place on any musical timeline where good, melodic pop/rock doesn’t have a place, and this five-piece Texas band is proof of that. Dexter Freebish released two albums beginning with 2000’s A Life of Saturdays, which included their John Lennon Songwriting Contest entry, “Leaving Town.” But after breaking up in 2005, lead singer Kyle (who mysteriously has no last name) and the rest of the band got back together for some shows, and found out there is still a market for their catchy fare. EA Sports, along with a publishing arm of Nettwerk Music, decided to release this greatest hits collection, The Best Of (The Other Side), including four new tracks, and history is being made before your very eyes, or something. The big “hits” are all here, including “Leaving Town,” “Prozak” (which actually WON the John Lennon contest) and “Higher,” and some of the newer stuff is pretty decent, in particular the stunning piano ballad “Walk on Water.” For the most part, Dexter Freebish is a decent band with nice, hooky songs, but they aren’t going to keep tastemakers up at night figuring out who heard them first. (LABEL: Electronic Arts)

Dexter Freebish MySpace Page

  

The Damnwells: One Last Century

For Alex Dezen, who for all intents and purposes, IS The Damnwells, to release an entire album for free download on the Paste Magazine website was a stroke of genius. It’s not like the guy isn’t already revered in sub-radar pop/rock circles, but now he’s given those in said circles every reason to preach the gospel of the Damnwells to anyone who will, you know, damn well listen, and for them to spread the word with no repercussions of piracy. But by no means is One Last Century devalued, nor is it a bunch of crappy B-side recordings that Dezen dug up from his basement. It’s more of the same brilliant melodic, heartfelt and smartly arranged songs we’ve come to expect, a continuation of sorts from 2006’s Air Stereo. He only wanted to release this one for free a) because he wants more people to discover the band, b) because today’s economy makes free stuff attractive, and c) because he can. On One Last Century, you’ve got the gamut that runs from sugary pop (“Bastard of Midnight” or “55 Pictures”) to beautiful acoustic (“Soundtrack” or “Say”) to riveting mid-tempo (“Like It Is” or “WWXII”). Go ahead, try and find something you don’t like here – you won’t find a better value anywhere. (LABEL: Paste Magazine)

The Damnwells MySpace page

Link to Download One Last Century for Free

  

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