dB's, still at work on reunion album, release new track

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The dB’s will release a new song called “Revolution of the Mind” for free download through their Web site.

The high-energy rock track was recorded by Peter Holsapple, Gene Holder, Will Rigby and Chris Stamey during sessions for the band’s new album Falling Off the Sky, due in spring of 2012, and includes additional “revolutionary” guitar by Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo) and background vocals by Django Haskins (The Old Ceremony). “The MC5 played in our hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1971,” Stamey said, with a nod to the timely track’s sonic and political inspiration, “and none of us were ever the same again.”

Two North Carolina-based artists have been inspired by recent events to create videos for the song, also available from the band’s site: one by Jerry Stifelman of Creato Destructo Imagery and the other by Greg Parsons (editor) and Mike Allen (director).

The dB’s are best known for critically hailed proto-indie pop ’80s albums Stands for deciBels and Repercussion. Due to conflicting geography, work and tour schedules, the reunited quartet has taken its time in finally completing this long-awaited new project, Falling Off the Sky. But for now, the non-album track “Revolution of the Mind” serves as a tasty appetizer.

Here’s a look back at our thoughts on an earlier partial reunion of the dB’s. Click through the headline for more …

SLEEPER PICKS: THE DB’S: The title of 1991’s Holsapple/Stamey project Mavericks provides a lingering chuckle. It was a bit of irony from guys trying to play acoustic guitars during the then-new grunge movement of the day.

The truth is, Holsapple and Stamey instantly fell back into pleasant old playing habits, with ringing riffs and daylight-drenched hooks. We find Holsapple, who has toured as a sideman with Hootie and the Blowfish, exhibiting a reliably sharp eye. Stamey — Holsapple’s McCartney, I guess — was still bright and poppy. Contemplative touches were again added by sometime sideperson Jane Scarpantoni’s cello. They were a bit older, played a bit quieter, and were certainly more pensive, but in the end, this record was like a screen door slamming back home — at once familiar and comforting.

Of course, it didn’t sell much. The dB’s never quite achieved the acclaim of musical soulmates R.E.M., though they were also at the forefront of the early-1980s guitar-band sound from the American Southeast. (Holsapple later toured and recorded with them, as well.) Through it all, though, the dBs were just off the radar — from 1984?s Like This album to the early MTV video fave “Amplifier” to a semi-major label release The Sound of Music in 1987.

Many of the dBs’ albums are difficult to find, making Maverick one of the few widely available opportunities to hear this distinctive band, if only in part.

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