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The Daily Tar Heel

Dresden Overpowered by Inconsistent Vocals

Cat's Cradle

Jan. 25

Three Stars

With powerful music, commanding stage presence and Budweisers resting on their amps, Sorry About Dresden provides a high energy show.

Sorry About Dresden visibly enjoys its craft, and the group's musical talent and lyrics give them credibility, but its vocals can be lacking.

Varied and sometimes funky melodies are overpowered by the lyrics and raspy vocals. They break away just when a jam is getting interesting, leaving you wanting to hear more of where they were headed.

Sorry About Dresden's potentially amazing guitar riffs get cut off and are overpowered by the percussion. Most songs consist of hard, driving drums and bass, with very few guitar solos or standout pieces. One intro to a song showed much potential but was stifled when the vocals began.

Perhaps this type of structure is a good strategy in theory, but in practice it doesn't quite work.

The raspy vocals range from being palatable to ear-plug worthy, with the guitarists/vocalists alternating between screaming and singing, sometimes sounding like drunk friends at karaoke. Amid the jumble of the vocals, thoughtful and memorable lyrics peek through.

One song in particular repeats the phrase "I think I can say for sure/ I won't kiss you anymore." The head bobbing audience seemed at ease singing along with the band to their infectious, yet sometimes hard-to-hear lyrics.

Even if the lyrics are inaudible, the witty banter from the band and crowd is clearly heard. Audience members shouted cracks about Sorry About Dresden being drunk, inside jokes and requests for seeing the bands body parts, which the band took laughingly.

Sorry About Dresden used an atypical setup with the bassist Matt Tomich in center, with guitarists Matt Oberst and Eric Roehrig to his sides and drummer James Hepler taking up the rear.

With the Tomich and Hepler centered, the band was almost offering them as the focal points, which they undoubtedly deserved. The impressive percussion and almost manic energy from Tomich is riveting, drawing you away from everything else.

Sorry About Dresden's musical talent and lyrics are sometimes overshadowed by the vocals, but their fun loving, hyper nature shines through for a crowd-pleasing show.

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