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Dommengang - Love Jail LP

Dommengang - Love Jail LP

Thrill Jockey Records

Regular price $20.98 USD
Regular price Sale price $20.98 USD
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With 2015's Everybody Boogie, Brooklyn power trio Dommengang picked up the driving rock gauntlet thrown down by contemporaries such as Endless Boogie, White Hills, Earthless, and more. Every track was a jam wrapped in sludgy, post-psych blues grooves. In the interim between it and 2018's Love Jail, the trio relocated to Los Angeles; the geographical change deeply influenced their sound. They worked in the desert for a week with engineer Tim Green of the Fucking Champs (Joanna Newsom, Howlin' Rain), who carved an analog sense of space into the mix that reflected Dommengang's love of vintage '70s hard rock recordings. An instantly noticeable contrast with Everybody Boogie is the dearth of sprawling jams -- every track here is under five minutes. While the change is striking, it's not introduced immediately, as "Pastel City," with its I-IV-V progression and Black Sabbath breakdowns, make plain. It's crunchy and greasy and packs a solid bass wallop from Brian Markham. "Lovely Place" melds the riff-drenched power attack of Cream with Marc Bolan's tasty turnarounds. Adam Bulgasem's drumming and Green's Farfisa organ evoke a swirling pysch blur. The album's center is where the sonic changes become most evident. "Stealing Miles" is a spacy psych choogler that makes full use of Wishbone Ash's twin-guitar mastery and early Blue Öyster Cult's sense of atmospheric dread, while the under-three-minute title track is a drifting, glistening instrumental ballad with a blissed-out crescendo. "Goin' Down Fast" is desert crunch with an L.A. hook in the refrain drenched in Sig Wilson's spiraling wah-wah guitars, filthy bass throb, and cracking tom-toms, while "Color Out of Space" melds bluesy psych and country rock. At only two-and-a-half minutes, it works beautifully. "Dave's Boogie" will be readily familiar to fans of Dommengang's initial offering: Its driving biker rock is infused with Hawkwind-esque skyscraper guitar riffs, slamming snares, and kick drums amid desert-blown wind effects. Closer "Stay Together" is a stratospheric psychedelic blues that reflects the influence of Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross" and Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain." Love Jail isn't magnificent by any means, but it is stronger than its predecessor. Dommengang's much improved songwriting, relentless pursuit of more spacious atmospheres, and richly textured backdrops inside the hard rock cave provide ample evidence. -All Music Guide

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