Jersey Beat Music Fanzine

THE dB’S – Falling Off the Sky (

Review by Jim Testa

I don’t want to talk about how long it’s been since all four original dB’s recorded together, or how many years it’s been since we’ve been graced by anything of substance from Messrs. Stamey and Holsapple. It’s irrelevant. Falling Off The Sky will wind up somewhere firmly in my top 10 best albums of 2012, and that would have been the case even if I had never heard Stands For Decibles or Repercussions (which, for the record, remain two of my all-time favorite albums.) And please don’t tell me this is a return to form; no one’s writing songs like “Black And White” or “Neverland” anymore, not even these guys. And if they did, they’d sound like cute but dated power-pop tunes from the Eighties. The songs on Falling Off The Sky embrace this band’s unique roots but they – and we – have moved on, and hallelujah.

Let’s start at the beginning, with Peter Holsapple’s “That Time Is Gone,” a garagey rocker with bright jangly guitars and delightfully cheesy organ. It’s Peter embracing the Seeds, only with a killer hook. “Before We Were Born” is bright-eyed bushy-tailed Chris Stamey at his most twinkly, with a Big Star chord buildup and a gorgeous harmonic chorus. “The Wonder of Love,” with its Stax/Volt horns, recalls a little of the swing that Peter brought to (in my opinion, the vastly underrated) third dB’s album, Like This.

The amiable country track “Write Back” gives drummer Will Rigby a welcomed lead vocal (and please, someone reissue his long out of print solo album!), while “Far Away And Long Ago” delivers a dreamily romantic Chris Stamey tune, augmented by gently plucked acoustic guitar and strings.

If there’s one track here that would have fit perfectly on one of the early dB’s albums, it’s “World To Cry,” a typically quirky Holsapple pop tune that recalls a more upbeat “Lonely Is As Lonely Does.” It perfectly recaptures the Hoboken jangle-pop vibe of the halcyon early Eighties.

“The Adventures of Albatross And Doggerel” finds Stamey at his most Lennonesque, orchestral psychedelia with a jaw-droppingly beautiful bridge, while “She Won’t Drive In The Rain Anymore” is a country-tinged Holsapple character study that recalls his tenure as sideman for AOR gods Hootie & The Blowfish. (And I mean that in a good way; this track screams for heavy radio rotation in the nation’s heartland.)

I understand that the dB’s rebooted in 2005 and it took seven years to get this album out. Well, guys, none of us is getting any younger; I can’t wait another seven years for the next one, and once the world hears Falling Off The Sky, I suspect that sentiment will be universal.

Falling In Love All Over Again

By Paul Silver

The dB’s have reunited! Well, they reunited several years ago, but they’ve finally gotten around to releasing a new album. And not only is this the first new dB’s album in some 25 years, it’s the first to feature the original line-up in about 30. Yes, this is Peter Holsapple, Chris Stamey, Gene Holder, and Will Rigsby, together again. For dB’s fans of yore, you will be pleased to know that their sound, though somewhat updated, has not really changed all that much. They still have the same jangly power-pop sound that was a big influence on the music scene back in the late 70s when they first hit the scene. The album opens with a great garage-rock track, “That Time is Gone.” It’s edgy, retro, yet melodic and full of jangle, and a great way to remind us that the dB’s can still produce some great songs. “Write Back” is an interesting song, in that it’s the first dB’s song to be written and sung by drummer Rigsby, rather than the team of Stamey and Holsapple. It’s a decent one, and several years ago it probably could have been a hit single, but today it does sound a little dated. “Far Away and Long Ago” is a beautiful ballad, complete with violin backing instrumentals. “Send Me Something Real” is a wistful tune, while “The Adventures of Albatross and Doggerel” sounds like something from the British Invasion. “She Won’t Drive in the Rain Anymore” is another lovely pop ballad, and the album closes with“Remember (Falling Off the Sky),” a nice mid-tempo closer. If you were a fan, back in the day, you’ll instantly recognize and fall in love with this new album. If you’re wondering who the hell these dB’s are, you’re in for a pop treat.

 is an independently published music fanzine covering punk, alternative, ska, techno and garage music, focusing on New Jersey and the Tri-State area. For the past 25 years, the Jersey Beat music fanzine has been the authority on the latest upcoming bands and a resource for all those interested in rock and roll.

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