Dick Prall

Somewhere About Here

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As a band name, the Dick Prall Band is a rather generic one. Happily, the music that they make isn't as generic. Hailing from Iowa, it's no surprise that they reside in heartland rock territory, but they explore areas of pop and country music and therefore don't come off as your standard issue Midwestern bar band. "(Redraw) The Line" kicks off the disc in terrific fashion. This sharply etched tale of small-town life is powered by a jangly twang-rock sound. The momentum carries on through "Turn Away" and "Gold." The former is a song of desire boasting a big guitar riff circa late-'80s college rock, while the latter injects a little menacing rockabilly strut into this poppy ode to true love. The disc's midsection, however, goes a bit soft as the band settles into a series of midtempo numbers. Songs like "Something Else" and the wistful "Come Around" are pleasant enough as they display an affection for the Beatles and Crowded House, but they aren't particularly memorable. The melodic "Into the Shade" and "Valentine," an ambitious pastiche of the band's gentle and power pop sides, start to re-energize the album. "Close Enough," a twangy rocker in the vein of "(Redraw) The Line," suggests the Barenaked Ladies without their arch cleverness. The defiant swagger radiating out of "In Store" is nicely balanced by Prall's warm vocals. His sympathetic singing style is also put to good use on "More," a Westerberg-like philosophical number that asks "If I had more/Would I want more?" "Watertower" concludes the disc with another strong tale of "Midwestern pride" in which the protagonist blames his town's water tower for his problems. Dick Prall and his band deliver enough roots pop pearls here to make Somewhere About Here worth discovering.

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