Dum Spiro Spero / Press

“A penchant for Latin phrasings isn't the only peculiarity about local quintet Dum Spiro Spero, which features an odd but melodious combination of instruments: banjo, accordion, violin, musical saw, etc. The resulting jug band sounds a lot leaner and drier than its size would suggest. It resists being catchy — none of the tunes on this EP have an accessible verse-chorus-verse structure; instead, the songs build from a series of tiny motifs.”

“But really, there’s something amazing to be said for anyone like Anthony Yousko who can not only keep up with the technical mania of his bandmates’ guitar and violin with a goddamn musical saw, but can also use said saw to form backbone ostinatos as instantly catching as the distorted vocals in M83′s “Midnight City.” Or for frontman Bowie Johnson’s ability to keep a straight face while singing lines like: Guns are poison / you can’t plant one and watch it grow. And that’s the beauty of their mushroom samba brand of kinder, gentler, almost-Appalachian Americana, I suppose : their deliberate embracing of what could be considered the relentlessly unhip into their own domain, lacking a single solitary second of irony the entire way. In a better, loving world they’d be redundant. And that’s fucking tragic, and while there’s something to be said for that, too, all I can do at the moment is pray to whatever god I don’t believe in that there’s still some beer from las”

“This Collection of Folksy Roots tunes sounds like it would be more at home in Appalachia than the Bay Area. Think Fiddles and lyrical tales with a slight touch of the macabre adding a genuine Southern flavor.”