Band of the Day

2012.02.25

Dominant Legs

Joyous dream pop with shimmering 80s jangle
But all those darling girls, they know what they do to me. They take me in, just turn me out, as the story will be to tell.
lyrics from Darling Girls

Dominant Legs is a band from San Francisco, CA led by guitarist, singer and song writer Ryan Lynch. A long-time member of the band Magic Bullets and sometimes touring guitarist for the famed San Francisco band GIRLS, Dominant Legs first began in 2008 when Lynch was laid off from his job as a mail clerk and began writing songs in his spare time. Excited by the new songs he created, he teamed up with fellow Bay area native Hannah Hunt to flesh out the bright, 80s inspired pop compositions. The band released their debut EP in 2010 on Lefse Records and later expanded into a five-piece. The group released their debut album Invitation on Lefse in September 2011.

Dominant Legs prove its never too late for new beginnings or to start a band. Laid off from his day job in his late 20s, Dominant Legs' singer/songwriter Ryan Lynch (and former guitarist for GIRLS) began writing songs in his new found spare time, and hit on a succulent style of retro pop he'd never written before. The resulting crop of songs, which soon became Dominant Legs with the addition of Hannah Hunt, are bright and optimistic, celebrating young love through shimmering 80s dream pop. Lynch and gang mix drum machines, jangly guitars and synthesizers together into a mass of twee hooks. They leverage the sweet male/female vocal trades between Lynch and Hunt, creating a beautiful exchange.

Their debut EP Young at Love and Life and album Invitation are both strong throughout, but Dominant Legs feel more like a singles band than an albums band, a handful of tracks sparkle to the top of the heap. Young at Love and Life starts with a chipper, jangly guitar shuffle that recalls soulful Glaswegian post-punk legends Orange Juice. Lynch sings, “I was feeling something good as soon as you arrived/I behaved well at last I should” in a whimsical delivery as optimistic synths propels the song up to fluffy clouds. “Hoop Of Love” is the most irresistible thing the band has recorded to date, with its joyful beat and falsetto earworm of a refrain. With its 80s synths and happily fluttering guitar it could be cloying, but the quavering, slightly unsure note in Lynch's voice, along with the strength of the melodies, ensure that's not the case. Dominant Legs are one of those bands you hear for the first time and think, “...I know this! I like this!” The enthusiasm of their dreamy, 80s-style pop is utterly contagious.