by ELI JACE >
Michael J. Epstein, the husband, leads on guitar.
Sophia Cacciola, the wife, pounds the drums and leaves her vocal chords unhinged. The duo are Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, the downcast numbing punk group from Boston, but their music is anything but marriage counseling.
DNFMOMD’s newest release, In The Village, was self-released online last June. It is the fourth EP in a series that started in 2010. Each release has been made up of “episodes” each inspired by the Sixties UK spy sci-fi drama, The Prisoner.
The EP opens with “Episode 13 – A Change of Mind.” It moves like a slow drive through a dark street. The lights of the tunnel flashing as you make it outside the city. The bass nudges along, vibrating deeply. Cacciola’s voice is despondent, emanating gloom, when she sings, “And I know you’re waiting for a change of mind / but, you’ll be waiting for a long, long time.”
The song burns like a fat stick of incense and its smoke is the ghost tickling the hair on the back of your neck. The power is in the slow build and Cacciola’s bated breathy vocals repeating the line, “What it felt to be free.”
The next track, “Episode 14 – Hammer into Anvil,” is a doomed mood hip swiveller lathered in keyboard sustain. The beat drops into the scene and pulls you by the arm onto the dancefloor. The half-step disco waltz feels like something zombies would groove to in a black lit room. Cacciola’s vocals leave behind hypnotic trails.
The last track is a cover of Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend.” They turn the jacked up Eighties racecar commercial hit into a low slung getaway track. That immediately recognizable keyboard splash, representing the entire decade, gets split by static with a fuzzed out bass. It’s like Paul Dean and Mike Reno took off their bandanas, disappeared into a back room and escaped in a dark unmarked car onto their next classified mission.
Epstein sings the verses with a bedraggled grumble, sounding half-asleep and three days into a binge. The chorus, once the phrase of teenage insolvency, is turned by Cacciola into a panicked war cry.
Over the course of DNFMOMD’s releases Epstein and Cacciola have gotten craftier with their production. Both multi-instrumentalists, they have a lot of reach with their sound. After establishing themselves as one of Boston’s finest live acts, and most productive, they head out west to Los Angeles to further their career. Hear In the Village here.