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Panic Bell, The [Us Import] [Import]

Dolly Varden Audio CD

Price: 8.32
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Dolly Varden has been making music for almost two decades but its latest release explores how quickly that time has passed. The band is built around the heartfelt singing and songwriting of husband and wife Steve Dawson and Diane Christiansen, the melodic and soulful guitar and lap steel playing of Mark Balletto, and the solid rhythm section of Matt Thobe on drums and Mike Bradburn on bass. ... Read more in Amazon's Dolly Varden Store

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for 5 albums, photos, discussions, and more.

Product details

1. Complete Resistance
2. Everything
3. Small Pockets
4. ALl Gonna Change
5. The Truth Is Told
6. You Never Will
7. Sad Panda Clown's Lament
8. Triumph Mine, Idaho
9. Your Last Mistake
10. Good Provider

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on Amazon.co.uk.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a nearly flawless album and one of 2007's best 14 Jun 2007
By Jenifer Reinking - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
in this modern age of recorded music, where the convenience of downloading has turned the music business back into a singles-based market, DV's 'the panic bell' proves that just because albums as a whole aren't selling like they used to doesn't mean that musicians aren't striving to put out collections of quality songs, sequenced and arranged with care. while the band has been putting out critically-praised albums and touring with a constant line-up for over a decade, dolly varden refuses to fall into the trap of creating the same album over and over.

from the opening notes of 'the panic bell', it is obvious that this is not a band to be pigeonholed into one specific genre. "complete resistance" and "everything", the first two tracks on the album, along with "you never will", which appears later on the disc, show the band at their most energetic and soulful. vocalist and songwriter steve dawson's vocals still retain a southern blue-eyed soulfulness that rivals alex chilton at his best. diane christiansen, dawson's wife and a fine songwriter in her own right, adds glorious complementary harmonies to steve's tracks which never seem contrived or superfluous.

the album never stays in one genre too long, leaving the listener to wonder just where the band is going next. on moments like "triumph mine, idaho", with its rocking, rave-up ending, "your last mistake", with hints of laurel canyon laid-back folk rock, and "all gonna change", with building harmonic intensity, dolly varden shows the band's appreciation for classic rock riffs and pop hooks. during these numbers, one can invision the band sounding amazing coming through a transistor radio speaker. dawson, again, accented by christiansen, floats over the music with the easy soulful vibe, but shows a different texture in these more traditional rock numbers, sounding more like marshall crenshaw or lindsey buckingham than van morrison or otis redding, but with no less sincerity or skill.

while dawson is the central vocalist on much of the album, christiansen's lead vocals on tracks including the angelic but mournful "the truth is told" and the subtle but effective social commentary "small pockets" are thoughtful contrasts to the more upbeat rock and soul thread that runs through much of the record. music fans that appreciate female vocals without trills and octave-jumping can find a great deal to latch on to in christiansen's strong but feminine voice.

beyond the vocal and songwriting talents of dawson and christiansen, the musicianship on 'the panic bell' is extraordinary without being showy. mark balletto again shows that he truly is one of chicago's best guitar players and that his strong live performances translate well to recording. the need for solid bass lines to create the soul core of the album is unfailingly accomplished by mike bradburn, and matt thobe's steady timekeeping holds the sound together while still remaining interesting and serving the diversity of the album's content.

while one should listen to the band's entire catalog to fully appreciate the scope of dolly varden's talent, 'the panic bell' is a fine showcase of a band that shows a great deal of growth as a musical unit, an understanding of what makes an album feel whole, and a mastery of a sound that is as warm as a live performance and, yet, professional without feeling overproduced.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let the accolades begin 25 April 2007
By Niall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This CD was released on my birthday and what a present it is!

While not really doing anything that hasn't been done before, Dolly Varden infuses its songs with great lyrics with just the right amount of self-rightousness, wonderful arrangements, and excellent musicianship. Hard to believe they are practically unknown outside of alternative country rock circles.

For the uninitiated, Dolly Varden plays an understated brand of rootsy rock with leanings toward country, pop and soul...but is never afraid to launch into propulsive rock and roll. This band has garnered rave reviews with all of its releases--likely to continue with this, its best release yet.

The Panic Bell is more fully realized than the excellent Forgiven Now. You can feel the care and passion that went into this release. Every song sounds fresh. Hard to pick favorites but Good Provider, Complete Resistance, The Truth Is Told and Your Last Mistake shine.

I hope a West Coast tour is in the offing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars review of "The Panic Bell" from Harp Magazine 1 Jun 2007
By S. Dawson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It's been four years since the last installment of Dolly Varden music, but The Panic Bell arrives with the key elements of the band's music wholly intact. Songwriter Steve Dawson has an unerring capacity for finding the caveat in joy and desolation, in light and darkness. His voice thins and strains with compelling force; partner Diane Christiansen's is here a fragile ache, there a soothing croon of reassurance; and when they sing together, the two create an entirely new whole. The band moves seamlessly from the delicate, folky sound of "Small Pockets" and the Stones-tinged rock of "You Never Will" to the guitar-and-harp wail of "Triumph Mine, Idaho" and the gorgeous pop of "It's All Gonna Change," all the while managing to inhabit the music with a simmering, barely contained intensity. The Panic Bell serves notice that Dolly Varden continues to make pop music that is seductive, transcendent and peerless.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disaster strikes for DV fans 21 April 2007
By Mark Bossingham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Let's give Forgiven Now a 10/10 and Dumb as Magnets an 8/10. Panic Bell earns a 3/10. As noted, I made a rather huge Error In Fact. The album title is The Dumbest Magnets. Sloppy. My bad. Since I am here, I might as well finish off the other albums: The Thrill Of Gravity 7/10; Dolly Varden Live at Schubas 4/24/03 gets a 9/10. And as penance, I listed to The Panic Bell again. Still didn't like it. Very dirgelike.
Remember: Dangerously Thin; Time For Me To Leave; 1000 Men Like Cigarettes; Disappear; and Trying To Live Up (one of the best rock songs ever recorded)? Well, you won't find much of that on The Panic Bell. I don't imagine the band's multi-year hiatus between albums was a particularly great idea. I do, however, find the title, The Panic Bell, (possibly intentionally) ironic.
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