The Dopamines

Vices

Written by: PP on 27/08/2012 02:55:54

It's so easy to like The Dopamines - most of all because it's nearly impossible to find things to hate about them. Their happy, no-frills approach to punk rock is really simple, but they play it with such enthusiasm and an overload of energy that winning over new fans on first listen or on first live experience comes naturally to them. Their simplistic, three chord songs are coupled with infectious vocal harmonies that demand small-scale basement style sing along sessions, which you have admittedly heard on albums by The Hextalls, Teenage Bottlerocket, The Copyrights, Screeching Weasel, Frenzal Rhomb and countless others, but they have that special spark to their funny songs that elevates them above the competition most of the time.

"Expect The Worst" from two years ago excelled precisely because of their fun-loving attitude and a guarantee that no bullshit, whether in the form of a pretentious image or artificially inflated song structures (hey pop punk bands doing ballads, I'm looking at you) exists anywhere in conjunction with this band. "Vices", their third full-length, the continues exactly this approach, with minor differences to its predecessor. The songs aren't as manically paced and jam-packed with brilliant vocal interplay as "Public Domain" or "Cincinnati Harmony" were, although opening track "You're So Vain, Part II" and "Don't Mosh The Organ"are just that. Instead, they rely on a more relaxed mid-range tempo and a slower, almost alternative rock influenced songwriting, such as on "Heads Up Dusters!" or "Useless". These are more mature songs in terms of songwriting that show signs of The Dopamines wanting to progress as a band away from the tiny clubs with sweaty people singing along to their fun-filled no-frills pop punk songs into bigger stages.

Of course as a big fan of the band that sort of change is always a tough one to swallow, so it is fortunate that on "Vices" the band still preserve the majority of the reasons why so many fell in love with these Ohio boys in the first place. It's still mad-catchy with great melodies, groovy energy, thumping bass lines, driving guitar riffs and great vocal work. Recommended for all fans of pop punk, but especially those who have been disillusioned by the more pretentious and overproduced releases by bigger bands in the genre.

Download: You're So Vain Part II, Heads Up Dusters!, Useless, Don't Mosh The Organ
For the fans of: The Hextalls, Teenage Bottlerocket, Frenzal Rhomb, The Copyrights
Listen: Facebook

Release date 19.06.2012
It's Alive Records

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