Aural Fixation: Dominant Legs
Think of the music of San Francisco, and you might be drawn to the freakouts of the Haight-Ashbury district of yore. More recently, the Bay Area has been home to a burgeoning garage rock scene, albeit one heavily influenced by those legendary psychedelic rockers. One band that isn’t lo-fi by any stretch of the imagination is a duo called Dominant Legs. Formed by Ryan Lynch and Hannah Hunt, Dominant Legs do away with fuzzy guitars and distorted vocals in favor of a glimmering new wave sound that’s more Human League than human be-in.
After releasing a Dominant Legs EP a few years ago, Lynch joined SF pop/rockers Girls. Now that he’s back with his own group, Lynch has time to explore and expand his rich, retro sound. Dominant Legs’ debut, Invitation, is indeed inviting, with cleverly written tracks like “Hoop Of Love” and the cooing “Make Time For The Boy.” The most overt influences on Dominant Legs’ sound are bands from the ‘80s like Prefab Sprout and OMD, but there are also touches of ‘60s girl- and bubblegum groups to be heard. The swirling “Darling Girls” sounds like a track from a lost John Hughes soundtrack, and “Lady Is Sleek And So Petite” gives modern dance-pop a cool makeover.
Romance plays a big part in Dominant Legs’ lyrics, but the drama and theatricality is knowingly over the top. The grooving “She Can Boss Me Around” is a moody tale of loving submission and “2 Thoughts About U” does sorta evoke Prince’s mid-‘80s jittery funk. By playing against their local trends, Lynch and Hunt have come upon a timeless and trendsetting sound..
Watch: Dominant Legs – “Hoop Of Love” from Invitation (2011)