Sound Check

Ever heard of dot Fash? If you haven't, good. That's what the Fort Lauderdale-based rock quartet is counting on.

A few years ago, Russ Rogers (vocals, guitar), James Coyle (guitar), Jarrett S. (bass), and Phil T. (drums) were known as the Pheromones. Then they discovered another band was already using the hormonally inspired name, so they dubbed themselves the Bus. But recently they received a cease-and-desist letter from a Boston-based band saying it had already released five albums under the same name. So, with the threat of a lawsuit looming, dot Fash was born.

"You kind of lose your momentum," Rogers says of the moniker problems. "That's why [we picked] dot Fash. We didn't want to go through this name thing again. There's no way this name already exists."

Although the name has changed, the sound hasn't. Since the band was founded in 1996 -- a result of playing in high-school jazz bands and palling around -- the sound has always been pop rock with an alternative edge. Earlier cassette recordings prove as much. Pheromones (1996) and Virgin Feedback (1997) serve as tasty appetizers to this year's ten-song debut CD, Getting Off the Bus, which the band is shopping around to major labels.

The aptly titled CD is a melodic marriage of ambient guitar work and Rogers' vocals, which sound appropriately fluid and husky when accompanied by an acoustic guitar, higher pitched and fleshed out as the electric guitars kick in. During a recent live show, however, drummer Phil T. drew the most attention. As he furiously pounded during a set at Dastardly's in North Lauderdale, chest cavities vibrated.

"Most of the responses we get at shows are, 'This is the type of music we feel,'" Rogers says. "We just want our music to come across, and I think we obtain that pretty well. That's what's most important to us."

Dot Fash has an interesting Website at www.dotfash.com. The gig hotline is 954-422-9729. Their next live performances will take place at Tavern 213 in Fort Lauderdale Thursday, September 3, and at Respectable Street Cafe in West Palm Beach Tuesday, September 15, as part of a Bauhaus tribute.

 
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