record review: Doe – Some Things Last Longer Than You

by richard archer

I loathe the term ‘slacker rock’ because it suggests the bands that are dubbed so are sloppy and lacking poise. It may be that bands such as Dinosaur Jr. and Superchunk gave off an aura of indifference, but they had had a sledgehammer delivery on record and stage that let you know that they meant business.The same is true of this record from Doe, who are similar in their sonic method to the aforementioned ‘Chunk. They rarely move beyond the mid-pace on this record and it’s pleasing to hear a band move away from the frenzy of punk into something more unhurried (but not slack). Singer/guitarist Nicola and guitarist Dean kick out riffs that land like the direct hit of a toe-punted football on cold ears, and the interplay between them and drummer Dean on tracks like opener ‘No.1’ give Doe classic three-piece potential.

Off-kilter structure gives the band a further edge. ‘Sincere’ has a few extra or few less bars here and there which surprises and delights when coupled with its cynical lyrics (“You’re so commanding / The lies are outstanding / A perfect betrayal / Of someone who cares”) and lurching dynamic shifts. Elsewhere on ‘Monopoly’, Nicola throws lyrical darts at relationship breakdown (“I never liked your family anyway, anyway / They used to cheat at Monopoly anytime we played”) on what could be a ballad played with cudgels.

The songs are propelled by fabulous production which makes the most of the bands strengths whilst respecting the three-piece value. Where mobs of harmony and fuzz guitar on tracks like ‘Monopoly’ and ‘Something To Tell You’ will give your stereo speakers something to do, they won’t distract from the band performances at the centre.

So here we have a band worthy of being as revered as the classic bands in this most mislabelled of genres. Let’s hope there’s a writer with more creativity and talent than myself who can think of descriptive terminology that better suits them all.

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