Heavy as a ton of bricks and yet as agile as a jungle cat, the groove that hits us right out of the gate in “Friday Night,” one of the fourteen songs comprising Dizzy Box Nine’s new album Faster Than Anticipation, is fiercely addictive to say the least. Much like the other thirteen tracks included on this follow-up to the potent Pop Fantasy, “Friday Night” sports a pop/rock intensity that has been largely absent from the FM dial in the last ten years, but it doesn’t feel like a retrospective at all. Dizzy Box Nine are out to get us swinging and feeling the passion of a solid rock performance in Faster Than Anticipation, and I for one love what their efforts have produced.
The first thing I noticed about this LP was its diversity of content, with slow-churning pop numbers like “OK, OK,” “For You,” “Let’s Go Skating” and “Near You” meshing perfectly well with bludgeoning rock tunes like “If This is Real” and “Sometimes I Feel Like This.” As far as consistency is concerned, everything in Faster Than Anticipation centers on a colorful melodicism that constantly keeps us on the edge of our seats waiting for the next hook to come swinging into focus. There’s no displacing balladry, nor are there any attempts at electronically-faceted dance breakdowns; Dizzy Box Nine have a basic formula in play here, they’re exploiting it for everything it’s worth.
Overall, I’d call Faster Than Anticipation a pretty guitar-driven album, but it never descends into retro meathead territory. From the blistering crunch of the showstopper “This Is All For You,” the blushing overdrive in “Deep Inside Your Mind” and the glistening reverb in “Amazing Night” to the complex fretwork of “The Sun Came Out the Other Day,” the strings are always in a dominant position in the master mix, essentially laying out the path for all of the other components in the music to follow. It’s rather refreshing to know there are still bands putting as much value in the blue-collar aesthetics of rock as the forerunners of this genre did, and in Dizzy Box Nine’s general output, I think fans can count on hearing something both sonically and poetically stimulating because of their creative priorities.
SoCal rockers Dizzy Box Nine have been on quite the hot streak in the last few years, and in my opinion Faster Than Anticipation presents audiences with some of their sharpest content yet. Faster Than Anticipation lives up to its title through both tempo and tonal muscularity, and though it’s far from the only indie offering that I would recommend listeners pick up this July, it doesn’t have any difficulty standing out in a crowd – the opposite, truth be told. Rock has been in need of a group that can deliver on a regular basis for a while now, but with these guys gaining a little more momentum in their home state and abroad, it’s safe to say the genre just might have found its underground savior.