Reviews The Dopamines Tales of Interest

The Dopamines

Tales of Interest

It’s been a while since Ohio’s The Dopamines released a new record –2012 by the looks of things, and I honestly missed that one, so my most recent reference is 2010’s Expect the Worst. I know they’ve become parents or grown up or something along those lines, leading to more time between records. Does that also bleed into their music on the new Tales of Interest?

That’s hard to say, without breaking down the lyrics in any depth, and that’s not really what this reviewer wants to cover. The band’s progression here on Tales of Interest seems to be more variety in their song structures and basic sound. The band has always had a Copyrights-style sing-along chorus with a big harmony (though on the rougher vocal side of the coin than their Illinois counterparts). This time the Descendents-core is at a minimum. Most of the songs are still verse-chorus-verse, but it’s less predictable and more subtle. There’s a splash of hardcore (“083133”) that seemingly comes out of nowhere in the middle of the record, the more pop-oriented “Heartbeaten By the Police,” and a toned back focus on the group vocals.

Instead, it’s mostly Jon Lewis, with a few lead tradeoffs with Jon Weiner (here’s to hoping I didn’t mix that up). When the latter is on the mic, there’s a little less aggression and a more melodic bent to the overall sound.

For the majority of the record, though, it’s Lewis, with tunes line “Common Rue, “Open Letter,” and “Business Papers (Reprise)” leading the way in a familiar charge that’s just a little bit unpredictable atop a mash-up of Dillinger Four, Lookout Records, and other familiar pop-oriented by off-kilter bands with a heavier edge. The songs are built on the big release but with unique arrangements and structures that deliver to that point. It’s short, but it ain’t sweet. Instead, the songs are blasts of anger that with a cynical party punk wit. Take what you know of the band’s previous work, but shake it up and add some extra spices. The Dopamines took five years between records but they’re back with more familiar tunes that expand their foundation without reinventing their sound.

This albums sees the addition of second guitarist Josh Goldman, who also plays in The Raging Nathans and runs Rad Girlfriend Records.

7.5 / 10Loren
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7.5 / 10

7.5 / 10

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