The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




BOOKS & DVD'S 2009-2014 

Perth band Dichotomy is the culmination of a long journey undertaken by vocalist Jess Rutten and her partner in crime guitarist Corey Hodgetts, starting out as ‘Dark Karma’ a few years back when I first heard their first recordings that appear here as bonus tracks; Dichotomy and this release mark a rebirth rather than just a rebranding. ‘Human Detox’ the five track EP showcases a band that has taken leaps and bounds since, waited, reevaluated and finally found their true sound.

Whilst you can nitpick about the mix and the production the overwhelming sense here is of a band that have found where they want to be – a sound that references the best components of eighties rock and adds some truly remarkable vocals and solid arrangements to both deliver in the here and now and also suggest so much more to come.

Australian rock, I guess like rock almost everywhere, has had female role models of course but fewer and further between than we’d like. In Jess Rutten you will find a voice that manages to sound both precise and immediate and yet also a voice that you feel has so much simmering beneath the surface.   The closest you will probably find is Pat Benatar for both its clarity and controlled power.
 Opening track ‘Walk Away’ is the strongest statement here – a deceptively simple song in terms of arrangement, which allows Jess’ voice to control proceedings and set up the entire release. ‘Cracks in the Sky’ that follows is a mellower song; and while the male counterpoint vocal doesn’t quite pull it off for us, it’s a great number with a solid chorus. Better still is ‘Against the Wall’ with an arrangement that has more swing and with a great melody that allows a little more attitude to creep into the vocal, its a song that really does bear repeated listens.

One of the showcase songs is the cover of the Motels’ ‘Take the L’ it’s a faithful cover given a little more grunt, though perhaps the most introspective song here. It’s bound to raise interest in the band and draw comparisons with Martha Davis vocally.  Leading into the final song ‘Dark Karma’ the band’s previous moniker the only slight regret you have after having seen the band live is that Jess never really let's go vocally and it’s a shame as the biggest selling point of Dichotomy’ aside from the astute song-writing is the vocals – you just feel that the ‘wild’ you know is there is bubbling under the surface and could easily have put the cherry on top. In short – you want to hear Jess scream!

‘Dark Karma’ is another slower number, crisp, and building beautifully to another solid chorus, and as the longest song here you really do feel that canvas should have allowed the vocal to expand and break free. It’s not a criticism it’s the sense of promise you know these guys will deliver in the future.

The two bonus tracks show what was: with ‘Eye’s’ moodier and with a swirling vocal brought in after a bass-led intro. What it does is show the focus and the progression from DK days to Dichotomy. Closer ‘Tell Me Why’ is pacier and rockier but a little less refined than the newer material – like they had to go there to get here.


Dichotomy is a band to watch  - expect big things.




by The Rockpit


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