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Dude Safari describe themselves as a Grunge-pop band, and there is a lot of truth in that. But there is also a lot more going on, too, more than even that intriguing genre-tag suggests. More than even the band might suspect, after all, most sonic choices are made from intuition and gut feeling, by the heart rather than the head, so they might not even be fully aware of the wealth of musical history they are tapping into when they offer us songs like “High In The Clouds.”
Sure, they deliver the weight of grunge via cavernous and abrasive guitar salvos, and they certainly access the infectiousness and immediacy that pop was founded on. But then there are the psychedelic vibes that emanate from the song. Such vibes may not quite reach back to the 60s but certainly build a bridge to the pre-Brit-pop, late eighties scene that saw bands like The Stone Roses merge rock and rave, the sonic ascetics of the acid trip, and the euphoria. Second hand, sweet psychedelic sonics are still sweet psychedelic sonics!
They also manage to capture that on/off energy beloved of the college rock circuit in the following decade, that staccato blast of power followed by sonic understatement, a great dynamic device that could take a song from searing highs to lulling lows in a split second. There is also a slight sixties, power-pop sound at work, Day-Glo, and kaleidoscopic, one that heavy-handed guitar thrashers like Oasis could only have dreamt of encapsulating and blending into their music.
I might have made “High In The Clouds” sound like a musical history lesson – in some ways, consciously or otherwise, it is. But at the end of the day, it is a fantastic song, which I bet is all Dude Safari ever intended it to be. The history lesson is just a bonus for those who are interested in such things.
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