LIKE SOME other American independent bands working at the club level, Dumptruck is a pop-sounding group that isn't really pop. Unlike the dB's, Let's Active or Tommy Keene, Dumptruck isn't particularly arty, clever or forceful either; they write seemingly uneventful songs. The attractions of their 12 originals on their debut album, "D Is For Dumptruck," seem hopelessly tangled in a web of fractured guitar filaments, dour lyricism and deadpan harmonies.
Dumptruck is the creation of singers- songwriters-guitarists Kirk Swan and Seth Tiven, two young men who refuse to write silly love songs. Nonetheless, once you settle in with their clumsy, mid-tempo rhythms, their songs begin to tug in wonderful ways. The thick, pulsing guitar chords that dominate "Night" and "The Haunt" are perfect kickoff points for their thin, spiraling solos. In songs such as "Carcass" and "Something's Burning," classic ringing guitar figures surface and then dissolve like vague memories.
If this album held even a couple more songs as precious in sound and fetching in sentiment as "Things Go Wrong," even a straight pop fan might be persuaded. Here, the tinkling guitars sparkle, the sweet melody stays intact, the voices share a plaintive rapport and the effect is both rare and seductive. DUMPTRUCK -- "D Is For Dumptruck"(Dump 101); playing Friday with Panther Burns at the 9:30 Club.