The beauty of reverb is that it makes every song sound like you're remembering the song, which is A) literally true and B) alienating. It's the perfect effect for music that is not sure how it feels about itself. Yes, Dunes is a pop rock band, and no, they are not totally comfortable with that. The guitar and drums say surf, the vocals hark back to the plaintive love songs of the Phil Spector era, and the reverb keeps it from getting too serious.
It's a recognizable sound–maybe the exact midpoint between Dum Dum Girls and Beach House. Dunes is a little more daring in its progressions and a little more plaintive in its melodies than the rigidly messy bands around it. You wouldn't know it, though, for all the reverb. It turns crafted, catchy songs into a uniform ringing wash that mostly sounds like 2012. That was the year we went back to surf pop, via those wavy lines that say flashback and let us off the hook for whatever happens. Something happens in every Dunes song. I would like to pull one effect out of the chain and hear it.
Dunes plays Zoo City Apparel Fri., Aug. 31, at 8 PM with Needlecraft, Custody Battle and OllBreds. Cover TBA.