Dowsing
It's Still Pretty Terrible


3.5
great

Review

by davygrohl USER (11 Reviews)
February 7th, 2013 | 7 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "The stars are beautiful tonight (if you dream about me)."

I must confess: I disliked “All I Could Find Was You”, Dowsing’s first release. A year or two later, upon hearing that Dowsing had an LP, I reacted with indifference. One glance at the album cover furthered my distaste. A self-deprecating title like “It’s Still Pretty Terrible” didn’t help matters. I know what I’m getting into with an emo album, there’s no need to kick yourself when you’re already down (I’m only half-joking here). I was prepared to hate this album.

Imagine my utter surprise when, against all odds, I actually started to like this album. Unlike their previous EP, which suffered from poor production and a lack of a consistent, committed sound, the production on this LP is excellent, and the singer sings alone and confidently, high in the mix on every track. They ditched the distortion and gang vocals from the EP, and their new sound suits them well. Every track features clean, tidy guitar playing that fits well with the plain though pleasant vocal. Each track doesn’t distinguish itself too much from each other, but it plays into the bands charm.

It also should be noted that Dowsing really excels at balancing an album. They seem to have two, and only two, types of songs: slow burners and quick, poppy romps. Thanks to the impeccable track listing this isn’t a detriment. Instead, the energy flows beautifully from track to track. The album is front loaded with quicker songs. “Get Dead!” is a quality opener, both establishing the motif that runs through the album and ramping up in intensity to transition perfectly into the first few songs. It’s not a complicated song, but it functions well enough.

“Gengar! Gengar! Gengar!” is perhaps the catchiest song on the album, featuring a short, dramatic pause in the action before the band launches into the chorus and the singer delivers an impassioned plea to a lover he has lost. Two burners occupy slots five and six, offering a respite from the earlier, quicker numbers. “Littoral” stands out especially, sounding like a track that would play during a slow motion shot in a TV show where the main character is shown chasing after a vanishing lover, framed against a starry June sky. The track fades and “Midwest Living” offers a respite to the heavy feelings with its hard charging pace.

After another burner, “Terminals” shows the sun breaking through the crowds. “I am no longer afraid to live my life!” exalts the singer, a welcome relief to relative downer of an album, lyrically speaking of course. “Somerset” is a cliché acoustic closer, but redeems itself through earnest lyrics concerning the difficulty of writing an album intended to exorcise the demons of losing someone you care about.

Maybe Dowsing’s sound works better when stretched out over the length of an album. Maybe it’s something in the production. Maybe they just got better at writing songs and hooks. I think it’s all three of these factors. Whatever you chalk it up to, Dowsing has delivered a fine album, one that is worthy of at least a listen or two. Ditch any prejudices you may have and give it a shot.



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user ratings (75)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
February 6th 2013


50553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I was going to review this a while back but I have literally nothing to say about it except it's good I guess but not great

pmmets07
February 7th 2013


5900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it's so average i feel like every song has the same chord progression. and i loved the ep

davygrohl
February 7th 2013


13 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It is true the songs blend and there is little variation. Call me crazy but I think it adds a charm to it. It puts an emphasis on the vocal delivery and lyrics, both of which I think are well done. I did like the first two songs of off the ep but after that it was mediocre. They're in the process of recording a new LP, we'll see if they can change it up a little bit.

pmmets07
February 7th 2013


5900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i like your writing and your choices for reviews dawg, keep it up

davygrohl
February 7th 2013


13 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thank you!

ShitsofRain
May 28th 2013


5911 Comments


Excited to see them and Annabel tomorrow

Digging: Round One to Round Five - 1993-99 Main Street Records

pmmets07
May 28th 2013


5900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good band, boring album



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