Oh my…American punk, you say? Yep, it can be safe to say Dairrokan plays punk, but it’s influenced by alternative/independent rock (and while I won’t claim I am 100 per cent dedicated punk, and even less alternative/indie fan, I’ll surely won’t shy away from this genre and with thanks to Klast Records I’m clicking on play (yes, it’s digital only)).
Dairrokan debut offers 12 songs and the very first thing you might notice these are not your standard-length songs (well, “Orange Drink” is 5:32, which is quite unusual for punk music, I’d say). But as I’ve mentioned alternative/indie rock, this is obvious in songwriting.
I am not used to such music, frankly speaking, however, it doesn’t sound bad, nah, it’s quite interesting. Of course, I will praise the bass lines, for I love good bass, and that’s a fact!
And opening “Jim Cantore” starts with that weird bass line and if you expect your 3-chords punk anthems from ‘77, you will be disappointed – this is not Sex Pistols, dear! It’s 2:10 of indie/punk hybrid, but it sounds good. Add to it a good sounding vocal – the combination of being pissed off and “don’t give a fuck” vocalist – and you’re getting Dairrokan. Yep, I am aware of it not really helping in painting the whole picture here, but hey…I have never been a great painter, lol.
“The Mother of All Whores” continues in this weird trend of mixing the not-so-usual riffs and melodies with the obvious simplified punk riffing and the result is surprisingly fresh and catchy.
“Impossible”, the third in the row with – for me totally – WTF opening (I always scratch my head listening to such unusual composition) and the feeling of angry laid-back-ness (is there any such word?). This song has left me with a split personality (figuratively speaking). Do I like it, do I hate it? Well, certainly don’t hate it, no such thing here – nope, I really appreciate the different approach to their music, as Dairrokan proves they are not just the run-of-the-mill band. And that’ good. So I am playing this song a few more times. What does that say to you?
I’ve stopped by song numero 4 – “Splangy’s Unborn” – for a little longer, for this one is catchy as hell! Everything here screams “the single material” – from the melodies, riffing, vocals…(I promise I won’t mention the bass again, but psst..it’s there and I love it).
“Quarters Mostly” starts with a spoken intro from some comedian (I guess) following with now familiar weirdness in composition – guys still keeping my attention and just when I think I know what’s gonna follow next, they prove me wrong again and again… the marriage between the guitar riff and bassline is amazing and the vocals (the lead and the backing) are in a nice pissed off harmony, and I think I start to actually love that song.
And I can’t help, “So Worthy” sounds little familiar, but I guess it’s just the chord progression here, can’t get into vocals here, they just sound little odd for me, but the music is top notch. Really, if you are a fan of melodic American punk / indierock/alternative, you need to listen to this at least once.
Although I don’t know, “Follow Your Balloon” is positively WTF (again), the amount of different changes in one 2:55 songs is amazing, it keeps you and won’t release until it’s over – that might be also a curse in disguise, of course – and I am here with mixed feelings, some elements of the song are f*ckin great, but some are little meh. Don’t know why, just kinda feel it.
“Orange Drink” – I’ve already mentioned it as the longest track here, and the start with nice guitar tune vibration going from left headphone to right and back sounds great! At this point I am getting familiar with the sound and tunes of Dairrokan, so the first part of the song is not surprising, but by the end of the 3rd minute we’re getting to this nice instrumental intermezzo with the nice uplifting spirit…I actually have played that part for a few times in the row, it’s really well thought of and played. And as quickly as you would blink your eye, we’re back. Which is a shame, that instrumental part was definitely one of the highlights of the album.
What to make of “Jamass”? Two things, I guess – it’s an interesting song with – again – a lot of changes and instrument prowess, that those are not some newbies in a garage should be obvious from the very first song, but also, as I’ve mentioned – it’s a curse in disguise. Can you imagine that being played live and having a crowd moshing to it? Well, not me. But who knows, I have to ask Dairrokan if that’s what they’re aiming at.
“My Shoes Hurt” is more in the Blink 182 and similar American pop-punk tune and I welcome it with open arms. After being concentrated on previous 9 songs, this one is a great escape song for all of us who just want to jump into the moshpit and have some fun. Yeah, I liked this little song a lot!!!
“Things and Stuff” – the opening reminds me of Black Sabbath and Mayhem simultaneously 😀 I am pretty sure that will come of surprise to you, but don’t worry, this is another easy going song. Nope, I’ll correct myself here – this riff smokes!!!! Why is that song one before the last? Now that’s some highlight for me here!
And the last one is “Nameless”. And it’s the shortest one here with 2:06, and it sounds like a good-bye song from Dairrokan to their listeners, and along the two previous songs, it forms some kind of a trilogy of more melodic, more straightforward songs – in contrast to more complicated ones.
Well, that’s it. The whole album. I am not convinced I will listen to it again anytime soon (and to be honest, I will probably not), although that should not be a quality mark here. Because as for their abilities, Dairrokan are on a quite high level here. It’s just really not my cup of tea here, and I will hang my head in shame admitting that as for the punk music – I am really a simple 3-chord punk anthem guy.
But if you enjoy not so usual stuff and are into well-written, well-playedalternative music, give it a spin. You might like it more than me.
Dairrokan “Now With Wheels” can be find on all major streaming services.