Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Dakoda Motor Co. "Into the Son"

Dakoda Motor Co.
Into the Son
1993 Myrrh Records
Produced By: Louis Gutierrez & Michael Gurley

album cover


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Track Listings

Wind 'an' Sea (2:52) (music video)
Grey Clouds (3:59) (music video)
Need a Love (2:40)
Ocean Seems (5:09)
Everything (3:14)
Sondancer (3:40) (music video)
Wasteland (2:15)
Freedom (4:07)


Peter King: Guitar, vocals
Davia Vallesillo: Vocals
Derik Toy: Bass
Chuck Cummings: Drums

Where do I start? I've got so many fond memories of this band and this album. Let's see, I believe my first real exposure to Dakoda Motor Co. (DMC) was thanks to my older brother. Like with many bands of this era, I was able to listen to the album at the Christian book store he worked at. Occasionally he'd bring home some of the demos too. Anyhow, I was instantly hooked on this band. Released in 1993 on Myrrh Records, I would have been a sophomore in high school. Maybe it was the crush I had on the lead singer, Davia, or a combination of that and the easy to sing along with songs. Whatever the reason this album quickly became a favorite of mine, 22 years later I still find myself listening to this album and surprisingly I even still remember many of the song lyrics.

Dubbed as "surf rock", DMC was started by Peter King. No, not the Peter King of ESPN fame, but the Peter King, the professional surfer and host of MTV's Sandblast. In the early 90's I was still listening to a lot of metal, especially bands on the Intense Records label like Tourniquet, Sacred Warrior and Angelica. So why did this band and their music appeal to me so much? I'm really not sure other than I have a diverse ear for music. Into the Son would be one of those CDs that rarely left my truck's CD player. The lyrics became ingrained in my memory because it was in constant rotation. Grey Clouds, Ocean Seems, Sondancer and Freedom are the standout tracks for me, but in all honestly there isn't a bad track on the album.

Wasteland is an acoustic number sung by Peter King. Back in the day I would usually skip this track as it just didn't have the same vibe without Davia's ultra smooth vocals. However I've grown to enjoy the track more over the years and appreciate Peter's vocal contributions. Maybe it was after listening to their 3rd studio album, Railroad, that I started enjoying his vocals more.

I don't remember the exact year, but I'm going to say it was the summer of 1993. DMC played one of the smaller side stages at AtlantaFest, a big Christian music festival held each summer for many years at Six Flags over Georgia amusement park. This was an annual trip for my brother and I and I saw may great bands play there. Even though DMC's album hadn't officially been released yet, I was familiar with their music via a pre-release my brother brought home from work and from a video or two of theirs from the old INSP program, Signal Exchange. That year I think I watched every single performance at AtlantaFest. The side stage they played at was inside and air conditioned so I'm sure that played a little part to why I attended all their shows. I remember them sharing the stage w/ Xalt and was it the Violent Burning too?

Wanting to support the band, I bought their CD and a VHS video that contained several of their videos. If you look carefully at the scan of the disc you'll see that the 'Motor Co.' portion of their name is missing. This is because 1) this was an early pressing of the CD itself and 2) the band had to change their name for legal reasons. I believe there was another band already using the Dakoda moniker. Either way it's cool to own one of the first print runs of this great album.

I read several years ago that the original band members (minus Melissa Brewer) were getting back together to record a 4th studio album, but since I haven't heard anything. Their official Myspace page is basically empty. Real shame as I loved everything DMC put out...even Railroad. In May of 2007, Peter King uploaded this video to YouTube from their writing weekend in San Diego, CA.

If you are a fan of female fronted bands, surf rock, or just plain old good music I think you'll enjoy DMC. Their follow album, Welcome Race Fans, expands on their talents and song writing and adds a 4th member. If you run across either of these albums at your local Goodwill or music store do yourself a favor and pick it up.

Fun Facts

Davia Vallesillo married Bret Matson, is good friends with actress Ali Landry. She has also worked on several television shows and movies as a makeup artist. After DMC she went on to sing background w/ the group Vector on their album, Temptation.

The song All Good Generals was used by the automotive company GMC in a commercial for their Chevrolet Camaro, although I believe this was uncredited.

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