Beautiful Crutch – Album Review

American alternative rock band Dommin released their third studio album Beautiful Crutch last year and, with the promise of a darker yet more hopeful vibe after their somewhat downbeat previous efforts Rise and Love Is Gone, this looked like possibly the start of a new era for the goth/new wave metal group.

The first track, “Desire”, opens with a screech before settling into softer, melodic verses and occasionally building up to the rockier chorus. There’s a very good guitar hook keeping the song balanced throughout and a short but effective solo near the end. The vocals by lead singer Kristofer Dommin are passionate and bring a welcome edge to the song. “Show Me” is the first killer track of the album with its faster pace, its bluesier tone and its ridiculously catchy chorus. This is definitely one to open concerts with as it’s instantly recognizable and kicks butt no matter how picky you are with your music.

“The Scene” is next and it’s a solid, reflective, dramatic song with a stuttering rhythm, an emotional chorus and some clever breaks here and there. It’s also very catchy and another very concert-friendly tune for sure. It is followed by “This World”, which instantly evokes The Smiths with its darker lyrics and the Morrissey-esque vocals. It’s still very much a Dommin song, however, as it’s certainly heavier than anything the aforementioned artists ever did.

Then we have the title track “Beautiful Crutch”, a slow-burn where the vocals and the lyrics initially take centre stage before the rest of the song finally unveils itself through an evolving melody that gets catchier and catchier as it goes on. It’s certainly worthy of being the title track. “I Die” is a softer, darker and rather beautiful song about loneliness, loss and longing with a rockier chorus and a short but sweet guitar solo halfway through.

Song number 7 is “Vulnerable”, which opens with a faster beat and a melody slightly reminiscent of Blondie‘s “Call Me” but with a significantly moodier, more emotional vibe. The song somehow gets more hopeful and upbeat as it goes on so its constant evolution plus the catchy chorus make it never dull. Then comes “The Flame” and, right off the bat, this is a completely different animal altogether. With its violins playfully marking the rhythm and its musical-style vocals, this is an experimental track which tries something rather unique by mixing a couple of very different genres, similarly to how Muse went in a different, glammier direction with The Resistance.

It’s still a rock song, though, so don’t expect it to be so different you’ll be thrown.

“Madly” is another fun track. This one banks on its catchy, upbeat chorus but its real strength is the melody that permeates the verses. This is definitely one of the most commercial songs on the album but its radio-friendly nature is never off-putting. “The Saddest Dream” has a slow yet compelling build-up with an electro heartbeat marking the rhythm. You keep expecting it to suddenly rock out but it teases you until much later than you’d expect and it’s altogether a surprisingly epic track which should play really well at concerts, even an extended version with added solos and breaks. “Madly” takes its sweet time and is all the better for it.

Finally, we have “Outer Space” and it feels like the end track from the first minute with its airy, upbeat tone. This is basically a soul track with a bluesy tint which might not please fans of Dommin’s moodier, edgier stuff but after an album this strong, it’s certainly earned its final flight of fancy plus the vocals are top notch from start to finish and the proudly 80’s feel is enjoyably nostalgic.

There’s very little wrong with this new Dommin album: the songs are all well written, the vocal work from Kristofer Dommin is versatile and would even make Scott Stapp jealous at times, the whole thing is paced perfectly and the music itself is really good: you can tell there are genuinely talented musicians behind every track so Konstantine (keyboards), with the help of Cameron Morris (drums) and Billy James (bass) knock it out of the park. There are enough trademark motifs in the album to please the band’s long-time fans but also enough fresh ideas to bring in a new audience so I certainly recommend you try this album whether you think you’ll like it or not because, chances are, you will.

Beautiful Crutch is a very cool album which gets 4 Ziggies out of 5 from us and one hopes to see Dommin get bigger and bigger because they deserve it.

You can find out more about Dommin on Soundcloud and their Youtube Channel.

Controversy – Song Of The Day

ControversyThe title track to Prince‘s 1981 album, “Controversy” was the artist hitting back at various speculations surrounding him at the time. The track talks about race, sexuality, religion and even includes an entire prayer in the middle of it which, ironically and amusingly, caused some controversy. And although the lyrics and the themes are worthy of note here, most importantly it’s just a really good song with a cool, funky beat and one of the catchiest hooks on the album.

Dick On A Dog – Song Of The Day

RFTC

Song titles don’t come much better than Rocket From The Crypt‘s “Dick On A Dog”, from their 1998 album RFTC. Though the latter was not their most popular album and, in fact, it led to the band putting out less and less records, it had some good songs in it including this track which may sound silly but is also a genuinely good rock tune with plenty of attitude. It’s playful enough to be a lot of fun and catchy enough to make you wanna sing the words “it’s like a dick on a dog!” as loud as you possibly can.

IOU – Song Of The Day

IOU

Thinking about what would be the quintessential Metric song, a few came to mind but the strongest contender would probably be the opening track from the band’s Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? album “IOU”. The song is like a mini best of with the band showing off a bit of rock, a bit of punk, a bit of electro, a lot of versatility over the space of a single song and it all somehow works pretty seamlessly. It’s a fast-paced, fun tune but it’s also not without it’s softer, more chilled-out moments.

Jaan Pehechan Ho – Song Of The Day

Jaan Pehechan Ho

Many will know this tune from the opening scene of the film Ghost World but Jaan Pehechan Ho” is more widely known as the hit song from the 1965 Bollywood thriller Gumnaam starring Nanda, Manoj Kumar and Pran. To say that the scene in which the song is depicted is pure 60’s bliss would be an understatement. With its genius choreography, its catchy chorus and its mostly masked (a la Green Hornet) cast, this is just a bloody good, very fun song delivered with tons and tons of energy.

The song is sung by Mohammed Rafi and the main dancer in the scene is Laxmi Chhaya.

Secrets – Song Of The Day

Cure

Our Song Of The Day for today is “Secrets” by The Cure. The track can be found on the band’s second album Seventeen Seconds, which was released back in 1980, and it’s a dark, fast-paced tune with a relatively restrained Robert Smith and a simple beat hammering in throughout. This is the band at their best delivering some quality early gothic rock without overdoing it.

Stray Cat Strut – Song Of The Day

Stray Cats

From the Stray Cats‘ self-titled 1981 debut album comes “Stray Cat Strut”, one of the rockabilly band’s earliest hits. This is one cool, old-fashioned, bluesy track which is just as good and as catchy today as it ever was. You usually can’t go wrong with Stray Cats but this is definitely one of those classic, instantly addictive tracks even non-rockabillies should have a ball with.