Dissed and Dismissed
Tony Molina has been making waves in the Bay Area for years, as a member of bands such as Ovens, Lifetime Problems and Cage the Elephant he has truly become a staple in the Oakland/San Francisco hardcore scene.
But that’s just what I’ve read.
My first encounter with Molina was last month with his new LP Dissed and Dismissed, which was released on Matador half a year ago and re-released this month on Slumberland Records. If Molina made a name for himself with thick, distortion heavy metal music, than this LP is a massive departure. It continues in the tradition of power pop made notable by Rivers Cuomo of Weezer or by Scotland’s very own Teenage Fanclub.
The album’s length is a concise 11 minutes and 22 seconds, which is basically the length of any track on Arcade Fire’s latest LP. But Molina doesn’t care, in fact, this may be one of the album’s strongest attributes. The San Francisco rocker manages to stuff so many hooks into this album that it feels like a total listening experience.
Listeners may even be a bit baffled. On one of the many highlights ‘Tear Me Down’ (which comes in at a whopping 43 seconds) Molina opts for an elaborate guitar solo after beginning the song with a seriously catchy, harmonized vocal lead. I found myself begging to hear the chorus or whatever you want to call it again. Luckily, every single song on this album is just as infectious, and as soon as you find yourself yearning for the last addictive hook, Molina has already hit you with another equally excellent one.
On another album highlight, ‘Don’t Come Back’, Molina flirts with his metal roots, incorporating aggressive metal down strokes on his guitar, only to return to a light-hearted guitar solo. On what feels like a ballad (coming in at 1:32) Molina demonstrates his polarising change in sound, and the contrast is really very affecting.
I must have listened to this album 20 times over now and it still sounds remarkably fresh and exciting. While it comes in at a mere 11 minutes, the album is chock full of hook after hook after hook. The concentration of so many power hooks in such a short span of time is truly a treat and a wholly recommended listening experience.