DFX2 – “Emotion” EP

I found the DFX2 Emotion EP while flipping through the vinyl at, of all places, Half Price Books. It was a still-shrinkwrapped cutout, and for $2.99 it seemed worth taking a flyer on it. The band is described as being new wave, but with Rolling Stones influences. I was just hoping it was the cool Rolling Stones, and not the band that brought us Emotional Rescue.

Hailing from San Diego, DFX2 were highly touted as up-and-comers, but 1983s five-song Emotion EP was their second and last EP, and more or less marked the end of their recording career. The videos for “Emotion” and “Maureen” off of Emotion did get into the MTV rotation, but I have to admit that even though I was watching a lot of MTV at that point, these songs didn’t sound familiar when I listened to them today.

I’m not entirely sure I hear the Rolling Stones influence in the music itself, though Douglas Farage’s vocals certainly have that raspy Mick Jagger sound to them, particularly on “Maureen”, the closing track for side A, and both the songs on the flip side, “Down to the Bone” and “Something’s Always Happening.” Stylistically they actually show some diversity, crossing back and forth from straight forward rock ‘n’ roll to new wave to even a hint of southern rock. And of course there’s the ubiquitous 1980s rock saxophone. It’s odd how things like the sax leap into prominence for periods of time in rock, and then disappear again for a while. The same is true of the harmonica. Though thankfully the bagpipes never really caught on, AC/DC’s “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If you Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)” excluded (amazingly the bagpipe part in the other song that immediately came to mind, Big Country’s “In a Big Country,” was done on a guitar!).

But I digress. Emotion is a decent enough EP, though there’s nothing distinctive here, nothing that separates them from the pack. DFX2 sounds like a serviceable rock band that would be fine as an opener for a more established group, or one suited for playing in bars for a $5 cover. Good, workmanlike rock, but missing that spark to really capture your interest.

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