Vinyl Vlog 262

Vinyl Vlog 262

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Dopamines
Tales of Interest

My history with the Dopamines goes way back. I remember driving on the highway in Aruba years ago rocking them in my headphones, soaking in the sounds. It was one of those situations where the music permanently became embedded in the setting for me. The Dopamines are a part of that Midwestern pop punk sound that graces bands like the Copyrights (who I used to think were the same band), Teenage Bottlerocket, and Banner Pilot. And even I’m willing to bet they all record in the same studios. Even though my preference for these bands would shift over the years, I never quite understood the love for the Dopamines. I am by no means the final judge on any band, but there was something about their songs that just failed to connect with me in a way that would make me a true fan. Their records remained fun and definitely above average and I would make sure to put them in my rotation when they came out, but nothing quite stood out as being especially outstanding.

And then Tales of Interest happened.

I think either their short hiatus upped the ante in their songwriting or I must have missed them, because this album is an impressive one. I have no idea how to even assess what exactly it is that Tales of Interest is doing to me. Is it the songs, is it the lyrics, is it my age, is it how I’m listening to music? I don’t know but I can go ahead and proclaim that this is most definitely a high point for the Dopamines. Even though the formula is a familiar one, the songs on Tales of Interest just stick better, the lyrics make more of an impact, those harmonies hit the sweet spot more than ever, the riffs are more commanding, and the songs twist and turn in ways that keep things interesting. This is basically the Dopamines at their best and a way I had not heard them before. Yes, it’s a bit of a bummer that Heartbeaten by the Police is a cover (possibly the coolest song on this album), but maybe also should reflect the risks the Dopamines have chosen to take here.

With Tales of Interest, the Dopamines have managed to write the best album of their career so far and definitely one of the best albums of the year. Oh, and also if you’re a punk you’re going to want the vinyl, which Rad Girlfriend should be proud to have in their catalog.


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