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The New Dawn: Press Reviews

"There's a New Dawn" album reviews

Kids, it's time for your history lesson. Way back before you were born-I'm assuming-there was a little band from the small town of Willamina, Oregon called The New Dawn. Their 1970 release, There's A New Dawn, captured a band on the brink of garage rock greatness, but their hasty disintegration lead to that record becoming one of the ultimate Pacific Northwest rock and roll colledctor's items. (only 500 copies were ever pressed). Here's where Jackpot Records, and Jesus, come into the picture. Jackpot will be releasing There's A New Dawn on the 24th of February, complete with unreleased demos and a live track from the band's 2008 benefit show in Willamina. And what about the Jewish carpenter? Well. his influence triggered the last original member of the group, Dan Bazzy, to relaunch the band with a more spiritual angle( hence the reason their webpage says: "The New Dawn: Contemporary Christian Music") Regardless of all that, this snippet from "Dark Thoughts" showcases a raw sound and buzzing guitar hook that is reminiscent of Love's Bryan MacLean. There's also a little Strawberry Alarm Clock influence in there as well. Enjoy.

The New Dawn was the first in a wave of Northwest "psych" bands, taking the bouncy garage-rock of the time - think The Kingsmen or The Sonics - slowing down the tempo, and adding a healthy dose of eerie, minor-key organ dirges. The music on There's A New Dawn is primitive and trippy - it sounds like it was created amid a haze of marijuana smoke. The new re-issue CD comes out Feb. 24.

When you think of quintessential rock bands of the Pacific Northwest, The New Dawn might not be the first to come to mind. In fact, The New Dawn probably wouldn't come to mind at all. They never scored a radio hit or became a household name. But collectors of 60s/70s garage and psych music cite There's A New Dawn as a holy grail - one of the best examples of the genre. This album encapsulates the rock sound of the Pacific Northwest in the same capacity that The Tweedy Brothers, The Sonics, or The Wipers conjure up a distinctive musical perspective. The new re-issue album is available at Jackpot Records two locations in Portland and at www.jackpotrecords.com.

In 1970, a band from the US Northwest called The New Dawn privately released their only album "There's A New Dawn", which has since become something of a lost classic. Now re-released by Jackpot Records with the assistance and full backing of original member Dan Bazzy, this has all the hallmarks of the late 'sixties: reedy guitars, vocal harmonies, melancholy organ sounds, tambourine. Opener "(There's A) New Dawn" matches these characteristics with ocean and bird sounds, before the heavier "I See A Day" comes over like The Doors meeting The Turtles. The lyrics alternatively cover boy-meets-girl themes and typically hippy concerns - unity, peace, love - and this is perfectly illustrated on the gorgeous "It's Time", with its layers of backing vocals and recorder accompaniment. "It's Rainin" ends with freaky storm recordings, before we encounter the Hammond-tinged "Hear Me Cryin", which seems to hark back to an even earlier era through its Merseybeat vibe. "Dark Thoughts" has more of a garage sound, while "Proudman" boasts more great backing vocals and a thrumming bass. "We'll Fall In Love" has one of the stronger tunes on the album and more Hammond, while "Last Morning" has irresistable percussion and a cheesy spoken word insert. Album closer "Life Goes On" shuffles on underpinned by a solid bass line. Classic! For the completists, there are three demos from 1971 and a 2008 reunion live track, while the disk comes with a 24 page booklet detailing the band and their songs, and will be an absolute must for all 'sixties heads. Check out Ugly Things Magazine for further details.

Here's hoping that music archeologists continue to unearth more obscure 1960s American music. Now comes The New Dawn, a Willamina, Oregon combo that may have defined how Northwest bands interpreted psychedelia. That is, they kept the fuzz, added a lot of minor-chord mopiness and retained and rewrote garage-y hooks that make this reissued record brilliant. Take Dark Thoughts, with a sweeping organ lilt and perfect drum fills that accompany singer Bill Gartner's admonishments that he'll visit a gypsy to eradicate his bubbling emotions. It's creepy but in a harmless Munsters kind of way. There's also singer Dan Bazzy's tale of Proudman, who needed to work to help his parents but quit his post because his boss seemed to pity him. Proudman is his name. Isaac Slusarenko, owner of Portland-based Jackpot Records, gets the credit for finding this gem and insuring that the music, which nearly earned a major label contract from ABC-Dunhill, survives. Especially recommended for fans of Ugly Things Magazine. There's A New Dawn is available at  www.jackpotrecords.com 

I just can't get enough of this lost classic. It's magical to hear something this good that, for me anyway, was a totally unknown entity. On its release in 1970, only 500 copies of this were pressed up, privately, and over the years their legend has apparently grown, and prices for rare originals have gone sky high. Musically, The New Dawn straddle the fence between what used to be referred to as 'local' garage, pure and simple; some elements of the more psychedelic side of things are also within their template. But with its focus on basic chord structures, judicious use of thick fuzz tone, plus blaring organ and fat bass, it definitely errs more on the side of garage, In fact, if you are familiar with The Summer Sounds - a sensational late '60s New England garage outfit who also sung of lost love and yearning - then you could easily be forgiven for thinking this beauty was their slightly more mature (yet strictly non-existent of course) second effort. Quite a few parallels can be drawn between the two, in sound technique, lyrical imagery, the introspective nature of much of its contents and overall atmospherics. (There's A) New Dawn is a strong, hope-filled opener, and the absolutely wonderful lamentations of It's Rainin' will capture your heart. It's this, plus the completely homespun nature of the project, with its warm array of instrumental tones that marks out The New Dawn as something very special indeed. Songwriting duties are split between the two lead vocalists, Bill Gartner, and Dan Bazzy, also the group's designated drummer. He has also taken charge of the archive and chronicles the group in the CD booklet. Standouts are many. I See A Day and the afore-mentioned It's Rainin' exude killer minor-key melodies and tough fuzz. Hear Me Cryin', the defiant tones of rags-to-(hopefully) riches tale Proudman, and winning original album-ender Life Goes On are where The New Dawn are coming from. This Jackpot Records release comes supplemented with three cool, slightly heavier-style demos from '71 (check out Do What You Want To) and an adequate reading of It's Rainin' from last year's live reunion get together; even if no real deadly fuzz guitar can be detected. The group's story has just been revealed in the latest issue of Ugly Things Magazine. A serious contender for best reissue of the year so far.

Sometimes the timing of certain "lost classic" reissues is too perfect, giving us a glimpse of the seeds of sounds to come, a prequel to certain musical trends that are gaining so much momentum in the here and now. Such is the case with this great, lost, lonesome psych classic from the Pacific Northwest, which was originally released in 1970. We're not sure if he's heard it or not, as this has been a really tough one to track down until recently, but man do we hear plenty of Kurt Vile in these old recording! With a fuzzy and faded vibe, The New Dawn crafted breezy yet dirgy pop songs that sound like some awesome combination of Lee Hazlewood, The Sonics, Roy Orbison, George Brigman, The Byrds, and the Velvet Underground. We can't get enough of the warm organ, haunting vocal, hypnotic percussion, just all the right sonic elements that really do evoke some desolate street at night, wet from a recent downpour and the flickering reflection of the moon on the shimmery black of the slick asphalt. So mesmerizing and intoxicating, we're beyond stoked this album is getting its beyond deserved moment! Besides the obvious influence on Kurt Vile we could see so many other current AQ favorites being super into these sounds....Beach House, Silver Pines, Broadcast, Thee Oh Sees(circa Sucks Blood), The Beets, The Soundcarriers, Gary War, Sic Alps, as well as folks from the '80s and '90s that we love like Rain Parade, The Telescopes, Beachwood Sparks, Dream Syndicate, etc. Forty years after it was originally released, There's A New Dawn is still completely captivating!

Justin - Aquarius Records (Oct 24, 2009)