Dinner Time
Halfway Down


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sowing STAFF
October 17th, 2021 | 6 replies


Release Date: 10/15/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pretty, nostalgic.

Dinner Time don't reinvent the wheel, but they don't have to. Some time-tested formulas simply need an injection of youth, and that's exactly what this group provides us with on Halfway Down. The band's sophomore record is very chill and dreamy guitar-driven indie rock with a distinct early 00s feel, accompanied by classic rock nostalgia. It's a no-frills recipe, but one that sounds timeless when executed to near-perfection like this album is.

Halfway Down is at its best when it leans extra hard into hazy guitar ambience and combines it with thoughtful introspection. For that reason, 'Affection' feels like an instant-classic, aesthetically meshing Frankie Valli's 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You' with The Flamingos' 'I Only Have Eyes For You'. It's a ballad dripping with both romance and permanence, sounding like something transposed from a long-forgotten era - only Dinner Time make it their own. Similar praise could be showered upon much of Halfway Down for its drippy, hazy atmosphere: midtempo rockers like 'This Feeling Is...', 'No Problem', and 'What's the Deal' all feel like indie-rock approximations equidistantly located between Wilco and Nada Surf, channeling that night driving sensation with potency.

Dinner Time ramps up their guitars to noisier decibels across the album's back half, with the title track basically existing as a jam session turned slinky piano outro, while 'Is There Something?' drives gritty electric guitars into your ears with exceptionally catchy choral chants to boot. They even showcase a jazzier side on 'Tiny Steps', where brass woodwinds sweep away the song's latter moments. At times it almost feels like a definitive, all-encompassing throwback indie experience, touching on a wide variety of sounds with equal success.

Dinner Time likely won't garner waves of attention for this record, but it certainly has its niche. When it comes to moody, guitar-heavy music with a classic sheen and just enough creative wrinkles in its fabric, this band can be found valiantly servicing that need. As such, Halfway Down is a highly enjoyable, if easy to miss, indie-rock outing - but those who find this shimmering little gem will be better off for it.




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user ratings (4)
4
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2021


3061 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well this looks pretty nifty, will check!

Sowing
Moderator
October 17th 2021


39712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Cool, interested to see what people think. It's nothing new but should scratch that guitar-driven indie nostalgia itch.

Digging: Imminence - Heaven in Hiding

deathofasalesman
October 18th 2021


7793 Comments


great review, i just might check this out

Digging: Plebeian Grandstand - Rien ne suffit

Sowing
Moderator
October 18th 2021


39712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks - lmk what you think. It was a random find for me but has been a super pleasant surprise.

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
October 20th 2021


3061 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

After a few spins, feeling a low 3.5 for this. I generally like the vibe and there's a couple really nice songs, but also a few forgettable ones. It's a bit reminiscent of The Strokes, they're the first band which came to mind especially early in the tracklist.

Sowing
Moderator
October 20th 2021


39712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The Strokes are another good reference point. The band just generally oozes 00s indie rock.



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