Kevin Dunn: No Great Lost: Songs, 1979-1985

Kevin Dunn is largely considered one of the most influential figures in the 1980s new wave scene that blossomed in Athens, GA. He produced The B-52s‘ “Rock Lobster” as well as Pylon‘s debut single and album. As a musician, Dunn had his own band, The Fans. Counted among their fans is Peter Buck of R.E.M.. When the band broke up, Dunn began recording albums as Kevin Dunn and the Regiment of Women. Eventually, he began releasing music simply as Kevin Dunn. The post-Fans-era Dunn discography has been unavailable for over two decades. No Great Lost: Songs, 1979-1985 markets itself as “the most definitive anthology” of Dunn’s music. The album includes Kevin Dunn and the Regiment of Women’s entire 1981 album The Judgment of Paris as well as selections from Kevin Dunn’s C’est Toujours La Meme Guitare EP and his 1984 album Tanzfeld. The album also includes two 1979 seven-inch singles.

While the collection is obviously robust with historical documents from Dunn’s career, it says nothing about the quality of music. His cover of The Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” is disjointed and slightly dissonant; it’s a far cry from the rock ‘n’ roll standard. It is impossible not to listen to the track and not think of Devo‘s cover of the Rolling Stones‘ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. On the other hand, the album’s opening track “911” has a mix of post-punk and surf rock guitars. The track sounds like a hybrid between the B-52s and Gang of Four.

It’s easy to see that Kevin Dunn was influenced by Devo and that he influenced bands like Apples in Stereo. No one is arguing Kevin Dunn has a place in history, but not all of his music stands the test of time. It does not sound as dated as say Nena but it doesn’t sound timeless like other post-punk bands of the time period like Mission of Burma or Dinosaur Jr.

Rating: 5.1/10

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