By Sarah Madden
“A rose arose upon the bay white as it lay like the cross across the way bringing hope everyday”
The Dose are the 90’s rock revival you’ve been waiting for. The band released a self-titled EP in 2016 that was unspeakably full of promises for future albums. The two-man band consisting of Singer/Guitarist Indio Downey and Drummer Ralph Alexander made good on those sonic oaths with their full-length debut “Saline,” out now. Their straight-forward rock sound is obviously influenced by 90’s “grunge” and “shoegaze” as well as classic rock. It developed organically when a former bassist didn’t turn up for a gig early on. How would their sound be different if that bassist had been there? If it would be anything other than the way they sound on “Saline”. I’m glad he didn’t show. This is one of the most listenable rock records of the past few years.
There’s a familiar feeling as soon as the record opening single “Vervain” ends. You want to hear the song again but you’re too excited to find out what the next song has in store to hit repeat. It happens over and over with each track. For me, it was like when Smashing Pumpkins released “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” in 1995. Yes, The Dose’s “Saline” makes me feel that strong instant reverence I felt listening to the Pumpkins as a kid. But you can’t say The Dose sounds like anyone other than The Dose. Downey’s voice might be reminiscent of our 90’s grunge heroes but he’s not a knockoff. Alluring vocals are highlighted throughout the full-length delight on songs such as “Escape”, “Gone”, and title hit “Saline”. Non-single hit “Meant to be”, the record finisher, is a synth-infused ballad and a beautiful vocal spotlight. Downey sings each song in deep earnest with the hint of gravel you want in a rock vocalist.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the seemingly Motorhead informed song “Rival”. A driving, heavy-hitting Rock n Roll tune with crunchy guitars that would blend nicely into any thrash metal playlist. And can we talk about the drums? Can we? Ralph Alexander instinctively knows what kind of drums rock music lovers want to hear. “Tart” is a blinding rhythmic joy. Go listen to the song, I’ll wait.
The brand new favorites The Dose created on “Saline” will be enjoyable for years to come. It’s full of instant classics. This is a listen all the way through album.
Stream it, Buy it, or Skip it? Buy it. Select repeat one or repeat all? 10 out of 10.