There are more meanings than you might be aware of.A Dingbat is an ornamental piece of type, used for borders and separation.
With a melodic jerky weirdness reminiscent of the dB’s, or Game Theory, Dingbats finds Casper & the Cookies pushing as hard as they’ve ever pushed. It’s a white-knuckle flight, a struggle between melody and envy, magazines and neglect. They foreground the failure, the fear of getting older, the sound of one’s voice in a void echoing back to you, and channel it all into the most compelling album of their lives.
Sometimes when you’re lost, the best thing to do is close your eyes and floor it.
Disenchanted true believers, physicians who fear medicine, the Cookies stretch their contradictions to the breaking point. They’ve lost their faith in pop, and possibly themselves, and replaced it with an openness—to sound, to the world around them—that has turned their music, as they sing on ‘Drug Facts,’ barely legible in pink. They sing with the insight of a perpetual bridesmaid—or a gravedigger, a university janitor.
The Cookies communicate in spasms, over-caffeinated and about to burst, typing the same sentence compulsively until it all begins to make sense. A song like ‘Thing For Ugly’ owes as much to geometry class and science experiments as it does to pop music—it sounds like a panic attack as imagined by Stephen Hawking. Or Stephen Merritt. They sing about ‘Fermion particles in complex phase’ as if classification could save us all, as if compulsive learning could unlock the secrets of the heart, as if they could control the weather, as if the two might be equally important.
A Dingbat is an object, such as a brick, that can also serve as a missile.
In their years of existence, the Cookies have been locked in an extended flirtation with fame. They’ve backed up Daniel Johnston, they’ve done time in of Montreal, they’ve toured all over the world, they’ve rubbed elbows with legends, and been reviewed in all the right places. With Dingbats, Casper & the Cookies have turned this sad, stupid dance into the album of their lives, an album that sounds—with its death vibes and quirk—like nothing being made today, an album that will last as long as the music and the world which inspired it. The flirtation ends here.
Let the consummation begin.
Dingbats is out on February 25th on Wild Kindness Records.
You can check out the song ‘Drug Facts’ below.