Local news personalities could do a darn good fluff piece about Grabass Charlestons: the kind of band becoming increasingly rare in these days, hometown heroes, touring for a decade, day jobs, then–triumph! Modest southern-style triumph! Dale & the Careeners is the best thing they’ve ever done.
Listening the this album, the spirit never leaves you. You put your faith in Dale from the first song “Stormy Weather” and it lifts you over any inconsistency or crack in the album (not that there are many!). It’s a churchish fullness of spirit and faith. Hearing stories of people with almost nothing (“Things are looking up since he’s approved for Medicaid”) and the communities that try to make up for the lack of everything (“In the bottom of the 12th, Longo went yard, and this completed the miracle; All along Joe told us that dreams come true; and Dale is a Raindog, too!”). It’s rock that matches what you actually see and live, not what you’d romantically or religiously imagine. So even when writer Will Thomas takes a direct approach (“Dale’s the janitor; his charge is cleaning out the toilets”) it’s just so he can get on to the next thing–as a listener you never lose your sense of plenty.
Grabass more than Hot Water Music has been Gainesville’s edition of Avail or The Bouncing Souls. The realization of punk’s attention to detail and rock’s spiritual ascendance. They extract the music right out of your goddamned soul and amplify that gorgeous relief of recognition. One of the most-earned Essential Listenings I’ve ever given. (They’re all fucking earned. Every great album is a miracle.)
Buy Dale & the Careeners on LP, CD, or MP3 from No Idea Records. Listen to the whole album on No Idea’s Soundcloud. Like Grabass on Facebook. And NOTE that they are easing out of the name “Grabass Charlestons,” which they’ve outgrown, and billing themselves as “The Careeners.” Look for their next albums and all else to be credited to THE CAREENERS.
The band dedicated the record “to the life and memory of Lynnae Hottinger.” Visit the Lynnae Hottinger Foundation for Ovarian Cancer Research website.