Dryspell – Kitty Porn

Dryspell
Kitty Porn

First off, in light of everything I have to say about this disc, let me just acknowledge the fact that the Dryspell disc surprised me upon my first listen. Judging from the limited information I had about this disc, I REALLY expected it to sound like another Blink 182 clone. To Dryspell’s credit, the disc never really comes off as anything of the sort, although most of the credit for that feat lies in the fact that Dryspell sounds more like a rock-and-roll bar band than anything else.
Sure, Kitty Porn is laced with pop/punk song structures and ’emo-esque’ quiet-to-loud dynamics. Still, the guitar tone and overall feel of the disc as a whole leads me to believe that this is really just a case of some barroom rockers who got their hands on a few Get Up Kids CDs.
“Tangled” opens the disc with some standard, though inspired punk/pop, while “Pint Size” evolves from acoustic to electric at the drop of a hat, complete with an ‘intensely’ vocaled chorus. “Girlfriend’s House” is the standout track on the disc, starting out like the Descendents before kicking in an ’emo’ stun guitar and finally leading to a catchy chorus. This one takes the cake for the lyrics alone: “I’m going to your girlfriend’s house and I’m gonna stay” – Heh.
I get the impression that “Rikk James’ Kitty Porn” is meant to be the standout track (single?), but it really doesn’t go anywhere. The track has a relatively spooky sound with a harder-edged, yet dreamy chorus that does make it a bit different than the rest of the disc. Still, I’m hard pressed to see this as the most capable song in this collection. “Take Me Out” and “Lucy” are straight ahead, though less inspired rockers in the vein of “Tangled,” while “Waiting” succeeds a bit more than the aforementioned tracks by slowing down the formula and really stressing the quiet-to-loud dynamic of the verse/chorus/verse formula.
“Sharkey” separates itself from the other rock-by-numbers tracks by picking up nicely in the last 45 seconds or so with some nice backing vocals and a really good lead and rhythm guitar mix. “Rails” is a more emo-inspired guitar track, and “Honest Engine” really just falls in to the same rut as most of the other punk/pop tracks – not terribly monotonous, but not really all that spectacular, either. “That’s What They All Say” closes the album with a flourish of lines that no one ever really wants to hear (“I didn’t know she was engaged/And she was underage…I think you have a great sound/You could go far with some luck/Too bad your mix sucked”). The music isn’t any grand departure from the other material here, but the lyrics are pretty amusing.
Dryspell’s guitar sound is nice – thick, but crisp, allowing for some really crunchy rhythm lines. Still, the disc seems a little ‘dry,’ almost like something is missing somewhere in the mix. Kitty Porn isn’t offensive or anything by any means – I’ve heard tons of bands that are light years worse than this. The potential is definitely there, but this disc just didn’t jump out and grab me. While reviewing the disc wasn’t the most positive experience, I will say that Kitty Porn made a decent enough soundtrack to my three-hour Pokemon Game Boy marathon last night. If you’re looking for good background music, this could be a contender. Otherwise, steer clear of Dryspell and head for something with a little more “umph!” to it.