Just like a fine wine, or a malt liquor, some music is better when it has been aged awhile, and that’s just the case with the new album from Dylan White. Featuring 13 tracks that were originally written in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s, this baker’s dozen laid dormant until the pandemic found Dylan revisiting old cassettes and realising these songs deserved a proper airing. Now rerecorded, with a few tweaks here and there, those tracks are now released as the aptly-titled Unfinished Business, and proves that good things do come to those who wait.
Perhaps attesting to a sense of urgency, opening shot ‘Out My Window’ comes swaggering out the speakers and seethes with vim and vigour. It takes the old trick of marrying downbeat lyrics with an upbeat tune, but it has never been done with such panache as what’s displayed here. Tapping into a distinctly Dr Feelgood/Eddie And The Hot Rods power pop sensibility, it’s hard not to get swept up in its sheer joie de vivre. Whatever your musical preference, be it metal or punk, if you like your music delivered with plenty of energy, then you’ll find a spiritual home here. ‘Out My Window’ was obviously written at the height of the punk/new wave boom, but it still sounds fresh and exciting and proves that good music never goes out of style.
Dylan always had dreams of being a rock star, but when that didn’t quite happen he took a job as a radio plugger, but what unites both professions is an ear for music, knowing what will catch the public’s imagination, and it’s a knack that’s served him well in both guises. If you need proof, then just listen to ‘Better Make Tracks’, a song that’s at once tuneful and discordant, and leaves a tantalising trail of notes for us to follow. Likewise, the punchy riff found on ‘Back On The Streets’ is a labyrinthine, and mirrors the serpentine streets you’d find on a 1970’s housing estate.
They say a writer should scribble about what they know, and the lyricism found on Unfinished Business details Dylan’s locale, the landmarks of his youth, and the general experience of being young. They’re words to which we can all relate, and this creates a shared experience, we feel like Dylan is speaking directly to us, as if we are sharing a pint in the ‘Windmill Pub’ (hear track 11). It’s not an easy trick for a songwriter to pull off, yet Dylan makes it look all to easy. There’s plenty of fun to be had here, such as the cover of Sister Sledge’s ‘Lost In Music’; if I, Ludicrous had dropped a tab of mescaline, then I’d imagine it’d sound a lot like this. There’s serious moments too, yet the operative word here is “fun” and closing track ‘I Might Be Lying’ barrels along like The Bash Street Kids on a jolly boys outing, and brings the album nicely full circle.
Rather than concluding affairs, you get the feeling that Unfinished Business is the sound of Dylan White getting started.
- Unfinished Business is released via All The Cats Recordings on 15th September 2023.
- Out My Window
- Better Make Tracks
- Back On The Streets
- Red Sky
- Crazy Eyes
- Lost In Music
- Battersea Park
- Berlin (East/West)
- So Humdrum
- Windmill Pub
- 90 Nights
- I Might Be Lying