Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest from Boston’s, Dune Dogs Band. Their latest single, Higher Ground, is a stunning display of musicianship and creativity and we cannot recommend it highly enough.
Higher Ground introduces itself to the listener with filtered sounds and a lot of background hiss. It (intentionally) sounds like a rehearsal with someone shouting “turn me up a little bit”. This makes for a spectacular impact when the full sound comes in.
Formed in October 2019 by school friends/surfer enthusiasts, Dune Dogs Band are Nick Bernarducci (lead vocals), Nick Brescio (lead guitar), Beau Colvin (bass, keyboard), and Ben Buckley (drums). Together they are creating a truly joyous noise that has filled our ears and our hearts at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.
Higher Ground, lyrically, delves into the rejection of pure and deep affection, and the courage to back away and wait just in case love turns your way.
We simply must draw attention to Colvin’s bass guitar playing. It is gorgeously percussive and interesting and the ghost notes are executed perfectly. The rhythm guitars have a California surf rock feel to them and the Latin rhythms and trade-offs between the guitars and bass and the drums are exciting to listen to.
This song has superb differentiation between sections and at any point, it is an exciting listen. The dynamic soundscape here takes the listener on a real journey and we loved every second of it.
The guitar solo makes great use of repeated riffs and has a definite Santana feel to it. We loved the toms and vocal section. We loved everything about this track.
Vocally, Bernarducci is astonishing. With a touch of reggae to the style and delivery of his voice, he also manages to belt out some glorious high notes with just the right amount of gravel. The section with stops in the instrumentation really gives Bernarducci a chance to shine, and shine he does.
Ideas from our ears
A hi-pass filter at 35Hz followed by a small cut around 150-160 Hz would tidy up the low end nicely and balance out that amazing bass track. A small cut in the 1.2-1.5kHz range in the vocal track would reduce some slightly ‘tinny’ tones. A wide boost across the high mids and highs centred around 10kHz would increase the brightness and clarity in the track. Finally, a light compressor/limiter and maybe ~3dB of make-up gain would increase the warmth as well as raise the volume a bit.
One of the most exciting and enjoyable listens of the week, Dune Dogs Band are really onto something with their high-class musicianship, super catchy riffs and effortless fusion of more genres than it would make sense to mention.