Release Date: Sep 27, 2011
Record label: Lefse Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Indie Pop
San Francisco quintet Dominant Legs (lead by Girls’ Ryan William Lynch) is the indie-rock equivalent of the classic “you got your peanut butter in my chocolate” ad. Appropriating the last 40-plus years of sunshine-pop tunes, their debut full-length is a tasty blend. Album standout “Make Time for the Boy” borrows not only a smidge of Elton John’s swagger but his “little Susie” character as well.
Building on the playful pop of Young at Love and Life, Dominant Legs expand to a full band on their debut album, Invitation, adding bassist Andrew Connors, guitarist Garett Goddard, and drummer Rene Solomon to the fold. Fittingly, the group’s sound is bigger and more focused, as well; Ryan Lynch and Hannah Hunt's hooks and melodies begged for a more fleshed-out treatment than they got on Dominant Legs' debut EP, and they get it with a bright, glossy production that emphasizes just how much they love ‘80s pop of all stripes. Lynch's distinctive warble and the punchy polyrhythms of “Where We Trip the Light” recall Talking Heads' poppiest moments; later on, “Lady Is Sleek and So Petite”’s breakdown channels Harold Faltermeyer's “Axel F.
Is it disappointing that Dominant Legs' debut LP Invitation isn't the darkwave indebted, electropunk exploration of sexuality that the band's name and the LP's title suggest? Even Invitation's album art is provocative, featuring member Hannah Hunt from the neck up, waiting rapturously with an open mouth to pull a grape from the cluster dangled above her. The content that's actually on the album, all jangly rock and coy pop, has a life that's pretty far away from those darker themes. Both Hunt and Dominant Legs founding member Ryan Lynch are Bay Area natives, which possibly explains a very coastal, open feel that pops up frequently on Invitation.