Beyond the target audience

<!– Link: Dexter Freebish

Tired of the Third Eye Blind-Matchbox Twenty-Goo Goo Dolls kind of bands? Sick of singers who do second-rate Eddie Vedder-Dave Matthews imitations? Had it up to here with post-grunge-lite?

Then you’re a perfect candidate to absolutely hate Dexter Freebish. But you know what? You won’t. Maybe.

I just know I’m as much a target audience for post-Gin Blossoms-Lemonheads watered-down “alternative” pop-rock as I am for, say, Dynamite Hack. Which is to say I hate it all.

But I can’t bring myself to dislike Dexter Freebish, despite their being a textbook example of a ’90s alternative pop band.

Growly singer channeling Michael Stipe and Chris Cornell? Check. Hook-ladened guitars that attempt to retain that oh-so-rustic sound with a lot of muddy distortion? Check. Heavy-handed lyrics depicting simplistic but immediate imagery? Watcha: “She’s the leader of her own world order/She’s a legend in my own mind/She’s the goddess of her own religion/My Madonna, and I can’t believe she’s mine.”

While it’s easy to take cheap potshots at Dexter Freebish’s overtly commercial brand of music, it’s really hard to stay cynical about it.

Maybe it’s because the Austin, Texas, group’s songwriting is actually pretty good. Maybe it’s because the group takes it’s music seriously enough to make it a fun listen. Maybe it’s because, uh, they’re decent.

Or maybe I’m beginning to accept the carcass of alternative rock for what it’s become. Maybe I’m beginning to stop worrying about the decline of rock and love it. Maybe I need a little bit of mainstream, socially acceptable music to counter all the weird crap I keep buying from Japan and South America.


A Life of Saturdays is set of well-written songs performed by a tight band that may not have needed the slick production afforded by a major label budget but benefited from it nonetheless. (Which is a lot more than anyone can say about that other Austin group that’s big at the moment.)

But be forewarned — Dexter Freebish can be easily lost among the aforementioned alterna-pop bands, and if you really aren’t the target market for that kind of music, save your cash for whenever Midnight Oil releases a new disc.