After dada’s terrific self-titled fourth album, the band was dropped by their label MCA; they went on hiatus soon after. Michael Gurley and Phil Leavitt formed Butterfly Jones, while Joie Calio started working on a solo project. The hiatus wasn’t quite permanent, however, and in 2003 the guys got the band back together for an extensive tour. In the new year, they’ve finally managed to pry a group of previously-unreleased songs away from MCA and released How To Be Found. Far from a collection of rejects and outtakes, the album is an addition to the discography on par with the band’s previous efforts.
Most of these songs sound like they’re in the same mold as the tracks from dada, but on How To Be Found the production and mix are a little more spare, a little more raw – very reflective of the band’s live sound. The album is fairly evenly divided between high-tempo rockers, such as “Crumble” and “Nothing Like You”, and more meandering almost-psychedelic tunes, including “I Wish You Were Here Now” and “Love Is a Weird Thing”. Leavitt’s drums feature heavily on a number of songs, totally carrying the high-energy “It’s All Mine “along and blending beautifully with Gurley’s guitar and Calio’s bass on “Any Day the Wind Blows”. “What’s Happening to Steven” blends those elements with some great organ work to give the song a bit of a classic-rock feel that’s not out of place on the album. As always, the lead vocals are handled by Calio and Gurley, and while I love the music these two have done on heir side and solo projects, put them together and their voices support and play off each other to great effect.
I usually prefer dada’s rockers to the slower stuff, and this album is no exception. I can enjoy tracks like “Guitar Girl” and “I Wish You Were Here Now”, but they don’t give me the almost transcendent glee that I feel listening to “It’s All Mine” or “Any Day”. Two exceptions would be the album opener, “The Next Train Out of My Mind”, which does a great job of “warming up” the listener for the rest of the album, and the wistful “Reason”, which has some great vocals from Calio. This is a solid and very welcome return for one of my favorite bands.
- The Next Train Out of My Mind (5:40)
- It’s All Mine (4:27)
- How to Be Found (3:27)
- Crumble (3:07)
- Nothing Like You (2:57)
- Guitar Girl (4:45)
- Any Day the Wind Blows (4:46)
- Blue Girl (4:08)
- My Life Could Be Different (3:35)
- What’s Happening to Steven (4:03)
- I Wish You Were Here Now (6:06)
- Reason (3:51)
- Love Is a Weird Thing (4:32)
Released by: Blue Cave
Release date: 2004
Total running time: 55:31