The Dormers - Impossible Things
Record Label: Civil Liberties Media
Release Date: Sept. 28, 2010
Less than a year removed from their last effort, Cape Cod's The Dormers are back with their latest, Impossible Things, a snappy, bristling and cogent collection of 12 amiable punk tunes. Album opener "Gnothi Seauton" gets things started with thick bass, meandering guitar and frenetic drumming. The instrumental piece segues directly into the urgent and propulsive, "The Ghost of What I was" which boasts a cheery chorus and one of the album's most commercial compositions. The hard-hitting, fist-pumping anthem "Adina," is not just a juggernaut, it's arguably the best song The Dormers have written to date.
There's a good chance if given the right exposure the song could find a place in major outlets across the country. "Hammerdown," is an old-school, funk-reggae vibe that could probably be seen as a misstep to most, but seems to serve the band well here. Variety is never a bad thing ––––– in fact it's not employed as often as it should be. Fourteen tracks of aggressive, in-your-face bombast can get tired pretty quickly so it's nice to see the duo chase down something different here. "Impossible Things," is a hard-charging nugget about perseverance, while "Flags," boasts driving guitars, crystalline vocals and a razor-sharp approach that almost makes the song feel like a siren, a veritable call to arms.
"Carry You" utilizes falsetto but undeniably underperforms. Why exactly the band didn't make the guitars softer and step into ballad territory is anyone's guess. In the end, "Carry You" feels like it wants to be two different things and the end
results are murky, wanton and discordant. Why can't this band ever adopt the less is more approach? Vocalist Rob Garrett is not a weak vocalist and instead he wades in mediocrity with this effort. The Bay Staters return to form on the scrappy and sweaty, "No More Goodbyes" and make a case for album standout with "Track 9." Laden with scissored guitars, a pulsating rhythm section and a kaleidoscopic blend of pop harmonics and punk exuberance, "Can't Let Go," probably has the most promise of any of the songs on Impossible Things.
"Bad Vibes" is another reggae cut that employs minimalism and Guard's soulful vocals. In referencing "Track 7," this reviewer pointed to Garrett's more than capable vocals and "Bad Vibes" is a shining example of just how strong he can be when he wants to. "Hopeless and Defeated" is a big and bursting heavy-hitter with a catchy chorus and mile-a-minute drumming. The disc rests with "Back Against the Wall," which truth be told probably could have been left off, but hey, there are worse things.
In the end, it's nice to see only a few months after releasing Just Beneath the Surface, The Dormers are once again back at it and firing on all cylinders. Though they still have miles to go before they branch away from the Bay State, it's nice to know that even in the corners and shadows, where few are looking, quality music is still being churned out. That in and of itself is really all a music listener could ask for.