Dope Body
Lifer


4.1
excellent

Review

by greg84 EMERITUS
October 30th, 2014 | 21 replies


Release Date: 10/21/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A ferocious record that deftly coalesces noise rock with early grunge and psychedelic flourishes.

Regardless of a genre the best artists are capable of finding new ways to alternate their sound while retaining artistic integrity. Baltimore quartet Dope Body mastered their insanely dynamic brand of noise rock on 2012's Natural History. While the genre's signature scuzzy stylings remained intact, the quartet's fixation on funk and quirky grooves made the songs all the more vibrant. Lifer could easily be a triumphant sequel to that. Yet the band have chosen to reinvent themselves, coming up with a record that's more faithful to noise rock's humble beginnings. There are numerous nods here not only to the 1990's genre heroes like Jesus Lizard and Drive Like Jehu, but also to underrated early grunge groups such as TAD and Mudhoney. This stylistic shift is also reflected in way rawer studio execution that evokes the feel of the act's intense live shows.

This may be their love letter to discordant alternative rock of the 1990s, but Dope Body also make an effort to leave their own stamp on the end product. The songs burst with unflagging energy, clever transitions and riveting sonic manipulation, the features that lend the record its high replay value. 'Hired Gun,' for instance, bristles with off-kilter, spiky guitar parts that are interwoven with heavily distorted verses and an irresistible chorus to invigorating effect. 'Rare Air' goes for a summery vibe with wobbly guitar licks and watery, dub-like basslines, while the full-on punk of 'Day By Day' gives way to an acidic breakdown sonically reminiscent of 'Leather Head,' the bruiser out of the band's Saturday EP.

Lifer works even better when the tracks escalate patiently from subdued verses to explosive choruses. This new-found interest in dynamics shines through 'Echo' that rapidly switches from toned-down psychedelic passages to violent outbursts of fury, but also propels the impeccably paced 'Even In The End' which shows how playful and accessible the group can get. Still there's mounting tension at the heart of many songs concocted on the grounds of balanced performances. Guitarist Zachary Utz finds a comfortable middle ground between vicious distorted swells, slow strung-out leads and chaotic solos. Meanwhile, frontman Andrew Laumann's vocal delivery has vastly expanded as his brute, cavemen-like posturing gets augmented with compelling clean vocals on numerous occasions.

The band’s raw, vitriolic sound signals that they've evolved into a sleek and unapologetic noise machine. Yet Lifer is a concept album of sorts. It tackles the notion of individuals who have difficulty choosing their direction in life. This certainly dictates Laumann's more focused approach to lyrics which stand in stark contrast with the stream-of-consciousness musings on the previous album. Dope Body have managed to modulate their sound without watering down the characteristics that made them unique in the first place. In consequence, Lifer is a ferocious record that deftly coalesces noise rock with early grunge and psychedelic flourishes. It's a trip down memory lane well worth taking.




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user ratings (47)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Emeritus
October 30th 2014


7587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

I really do want to strip and run naked in the woods when I listen to this.

Digging: Big K.R.I.T. - 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time

4N4LB34D5
October 30th 2014


356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

holy fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck that song is ridiculous. definitely downloading this!

Digging: SpongeBob SquarePants - It's a SpongeBob Christmas! Album

Pajolero
October 31st 2014


924 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Natural History was easily in my top 10 for 2012 so I'm pretty sure I'll be jamming this hard.

TheBarber
October 31st 2014


3602 Comments


Natural History was pretty awesome so I'll be looking into this cheers

Digging: Wanderwelle - Lost in a Sea of Trees

MoltenBoron
October 31st 2014


21 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just as good, if not better than Natural History for me.

Jade
Emeritus
October 31st 2014


10698 Comments


i saw the album art and assumed this would be a Brostep review

Alkemest
November 1st 2014


316 Comments


God I fucking hope real grungy shit comes back. I'm listening to 'Repo Man' right now, and it's really fucking good. I need to check this out.

MeatSalad
November 1st 2014


17194 Comments


Sounds dope

:^)

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
November 2nd 2014


13703 Comments


Need to check this. Love these guys.

SowingSeason
Moderator
November 3rd 2014


25167 Comments


What is it with bands making black and white covers with a single word on it (see Manchester Orchestra's Cope)

Digging: Belle and Sebastian - How To Solve Our Human Problems Pt. 1

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2014


7637 Comments


The track on SC sounds awesome, I should check this album out.

4N4LB34D5
November 6th 2014


356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is awesome! a lot of it reminds me of laughing hyenas

dixoncocks
November 7th 2014


3188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have been waiting for an album like this for a while now. The production is dirty and raw, and successfully resurrects an early 90's grunge sound that somehow got lost over the years.

CameronLaD
November 8th 2014


194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The video for Repo Man is absolutely awesome.

greg84
Emeritus
November 9th 2014


7587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

It is. I agree.

JoylessBastard
November 12th 2014


250 Comments


Liking this way more than their previous one

nylertickel2
November 24th 2014


262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This finally clicked with me today after a couple attempts. The riff after the second chorus in Repo Man slaps HARD.

LordePots
December 14th 2014


38576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is mega decent

Digging: Blondes - Warmth

4N4LB34D5
December 18th 2014


356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

'day by day' literally seduced me last night

greg84
Emeritus
December 18th 2014


7587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

The same thing happened to me the other day, but with 'Rare Air.'



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