A full quarter of a century since last album The Sound Of Music, recorded the year before they split in 1988, the second coming of The dB’s is one of the more welcome reunions of recent days.
Falling Off The Sky features the North Carolina combo’s original line-up, headed by songwriting aces Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey, and is partly recorded by long-haul buddy and early REM producer Mitch Easter.
There’s plenty of zip and froth amid these dozen tunes, the jangly punch of Holsapple’s guitar at its best on the Byrds-ish I Didn’t Mean To Say That and the truly irresistible That Time Is Gone. It’s all smartly offset by the more baroque flourishes of Stamey’s output, with The Adventures Of Albatross And Doggerel and Collide-oOo-Scope coated in the kind of thin psychedelic veneer that recalls the more lysergic trips of The Move and Syd’s Floyd.
Not that this is some retro jaunt around all our yesterdays – far from it. Instead, there’s an urgency and unabated joy in the way The dB’s channel their impulses into something so timeless and nourishingly good.
Fans of early 80s classics like Stands For Decibels might well be waving their skinny ties in salute.