By: The Busted Amp Staff
JOSEPH: Siiiiiiiiiigh. What a disappointment. Dawes, one of the more popular folk-rock bands out there right now, has officially hit a major bump in the road with their latest installment. Following up their album All Your Favorite Bands which made both Derek and myself's list for best albums of 2015, Dawes has officially pulled a Mumford and Sons with their latest installment. Well, ok, that might be unfair to Dawes. At least their transition from their traditional folk-rock sound to this....mutt of an album felt more creative-based than publicity-based at least, but it doesn't excuse how rushed and messy this album feels. It starts with the complaint I just mentioned. This album is a mutt. It doesn't really fall into any particular style, and thus it struggles to find any coherency. I think nowhere is this lack of coherency more prevalent than the first single, "When the Tequila Runs Out" even though this song has grown on me and I was particularly impressed with the live performance of this song at Live on the Green, it doesn't forgive the fact that this song is messy from start to finish, and is held together by a weak shout chorus, even by Dawes standards. "When the tequila runs out/We'll be drinking champagne." Brilliance.
But I think my biggest problem with this album is how rushed it feels. I really don't know why Dawes decided to come out with a new album just one year after All Your Favorite Bands but it makes this album feel like all the B-tracks that didn't make last year's installment. I think even the band knows they do not have a great album here as evidenced by the fact that they only played "When the Tequila Runs Out" during their 90 minute show at Live on the Green just a few weeks ago. Tear it down and start again, guys.
Joseph's Number: 3/10
DEREK: Oh, what to say about this album. Only a year after their fantastic LP "All Your Favorite Bands", Dawes returns with an album comprised of what feels like the B-sides and stuff that didn't quite fit on the last release. I was really intrigued with album opener "One of Us", which is probably my favorite song on the album. The churning guitar riff and the stellar vocal performance by lead singer Taylor Goldsmith start the album off on really solid note. Unfortunately for all of us, that's the last truly noteworthy song until lead single "When the Tequila Runs Out" stumbles into the picture during the second half of the record. As Joseph mentioned, the weak shout chorus is Dawes' attempt at a party anthem, and it really doesn't go over well. Yes, it's catchy. Yes, it's a tolerable listen. In fact, you may even find yourself singing along; the words aren't that difficult to pick up by the third repetition. But good golly Miss Molly is this the lowest common denominator kind of song that I never expected from Dawes. Typically, their songwriting and storytelling are superb on every song, but this is a huge swing in miss from my perspective. That being said, the rest of the album, lyrically, is good. Musically, however, it's a 46 minute long yawn.
Derek's Number: 4/10
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Derek Jung and Joseph Kathmann -- Just two ordinary guys that love talking about music. You can read more about us here.