We all love a good hook, and there are many great bands that can consistently deliver them. But without a strong sense of orchestration, hook-rich songs can feel kind of ‘blocky’. There is nothing tying them together, no journey, and this is often where a lot of the hook-slinging kingpins can fall short. Avant-jazz-math-fusion stalwarts Dumb Waiter have solved this problem quite effectively. They appear to have dug up John Zorn‘s sense of mercurial and cacophonous jazz and inserted it nicely within a suite of coherent juicy riffs. The resulting broth was the most salient feature of their 2013 debut Is This Chocolate?. It was an album that was rich in hooks but also had elements of unpredictability and complexity (most notably the fantastic interplay between saxophone and guitar). It was delectable like chocolate but it wasn’t completely digestible like chocolate. It required repeated listens in order to pick apart and parse the intricacies. And that’s what made it a damned good album.
And so we are brought back at square one again with the premiere of Dumb Waiter’s latest single ‘Cheesevader’ off their upcoming album Cancel Christmas. The track was first unleashed at their Audiotree live session last year and is now fully mastered. The track begins with a conventional upbeat swing but is quickly followed by layers of intricate guitar phrasing, wild saxophone melodies and searing breakdowns. Overall, ‘Cheesevader’ is a big track, but it’s also one where you’ll quickly forget the opening swing section simply because you’ve traveled so far from it. And so you’ll play it again. And then again.
Dumb Waiter’s sophomore album Cancel Christmas comes out tomorrow via JUJU and Hand to Mouth Tapes. Purchase it or die trying.