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Dopamine Complicated Music For Idiots

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Thursday, March 6, 2008 @ 0:32 AM


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It doesn’t get anymore complicated than describing a band’s music as “stoner rock progressive grunge metal explosion” in their bio but somehow for Ottawa’s power trio Dopamine the definition hasn’t hurt them especially since they’ve been recording and playing for over a decade. Of course, we all know that grunge nosedived quickly from Nirvana and Soundgarden to Daughtry and Finger Eleven in the course of a decade and a half and with modern radio infested with cookie cutter bands from that genre in between can you blame many people for wishing the 90’s never happened?

That said, few of the negative indulgences that plagued the 90’s alt-rock era if any are present on Complicated Music For Idiots. Granted, the tried and true slow/quiet intro and buildup leading into the fast/loud chorus is heard frequently on songs like “Distant” and “Walking Hell” and stretch the song out for longer than it probably should for some but Dre’s guitar work and vocal delivery more than compensate for it. In particular, the opening, driving riff of “Walking Hell” highlights the band’s melodic approach to writing a song and perfectly balances both its heavy aggressive and light melodic sides without sacrificing the best parts of either. Plus it brings to mind some of Gruntruck and even Brother Cane’s early work in parts. “Better Off Alone” is a short to-the-point driving rocker laden with catchy choruses and hooks and has some hints of power punk influences at least as far as how fast the song is played. And the groove-influenced funky bass riffs and solid drumming courtesy of Kenneth and Jason Cote respectively embolden “Vulture’s Eye” and highlight Dopamine’s progressive rock influences, making this song the most Tool-sounding than Tool themselves have sounded in ages.

The only drawbacks on this CD – besides the fact that it’s really a 6-song EP meaning Dopamine have a lot more to offer as a band – would be the plodding monotony that encompasses the chorus of the closing number “Don’t Scream” and maybe parts of Dre’s falsetto in the opening number “One Less Than Eight”. Other than that this CD has sufficient material to stimulate the mind.

http://www.neurotoxic.ca
http://wwww.myspace.com/dopaminemusic

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