Kevin Dunn

No Great Lost: Songs, 1979-1985

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History would have you believe that all the post-punk/new wave action occurring south of the Mason-Dixon line in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s happened in Athens, GA, but this anthology handily puts the lie to that canard. While the B-52's, Pylon, Method Actors, et al were attracting attention in the aforementioned town, Kevin Dunn (who in fact produced the first-named band's seminal "Rock Lobster" single) was staking his claim as the quintessential cult hero of the Georgia underground. No Great Lost is the first collection to document Dunn's solo career, which began in earnest after his tenure in ‘70s Atlanta band the Fans. The tracks are drawn from two albums, an EP, and a pair of singles, all released -- as the album's subtitle indicates -- between 1979 and 1985. Actually, Dunn began making music with the Fans in the early ‘70s, and the influence of that era's quirky, idiosyncratic art rockers (Brian Eno, Sparks, etc.) is apparent in this material. Multi-instrumentalist Dunn sings and plays nearly everything here, delivering his arch, melodic tunes in an endearing yelp that will bring a twinge of sweet nostalgia to aficionados of the early new wave world. His buzzing analog synth lines and artful, staccato guitar riffs are employed with care on smart, sharp compositions full of both offbeat attitude and pop hooks. It's troubling to think that this stuff might have been lost in the proverbial dustbin of history if not for the admirable archival efforts of the Casa Nueva label, but thankfully, Dunn's pioneering work is now waiting to be discovered by a whole new generation of oddballs.

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