Having been a fixture in the Portland music scene for the better part of a decade as front man for both No Tomorrow Boys and The Criminal Guitars, Danny Dodge’s first solo effort, “Baby, Let Me Be Your Mess” is a notable departure from the garage/punk of his former bands.
Showcasing jangled power-pop riffs and clever lyrical hooks, Dodge’s new found project will relate more to the likes of The Byrds and Tom Petty than the punk of old. Songs like “You Need a Man, Not a Hurrican’” and “Worry ‘Bout Ya” cut to the heart of fond memories, romanticizing the listener with a 70’s era blast made by a front seat rock radio. The lyrical wordplay in songs like “Yakima Canutt” recall Dylan-esque motifs, smacked with a sense of dark humor Dodge acquired from long nights obsessing inside the American songbook. His obsession with things passed not only shaped him as a songwriter, but as a believer in the immortality of the hook. Enlisting the help of Dodge’s right hand man, Randal Blaschke on guitar, Bad Shadow’s Matt Mayhem and Roselit Bone’s Victor Franco on bass and drums, respectively, and Jenny Don’t on backup vocals, Dodge built a powerful backing band to give life to the songs. The result is a 10 song collision of rock and country, diving into the well of Roger Miller and Stones-era Beggar’s Banquet with relative ease. Cut mostly live in a two day window at Portland’s Get Loud with Matt Drenik at the helm, there’s no denying the urgency and spirit of this Portland rock ’n’ roll band.
Welcome, Danny Dodge.