Capsule Review: DOLDRUMS @ The Drake Underground (NXNE 2012)
DOLDRUMS is a band that I have mixed feelings about. I walked out of their first NXNE set at the Drake Underground with a bit of a perplexed expression on my face. One thing is certain, the majority of their music is interesting and different – which is a victory in itself.
There was definitely some things in there that were enjoyable, but there was just as much (or more) that just didn’t sit well. Let me get it out of the way first though that everything was well executed, technically speaking. These guys could play their music well and put on a show, no issues there.
The band is the brainchild of former SPIRAL BEACH frontman Airick Woodhead and has been receiving A LOT of buzz recently – ranging from at home with the The Grid and The A.V. Club Toronto to larger outlets like Pitchfork and Stereogum.
Their music is a crazy mix of electro, dance and a smidgen of dubstep cut together from an intricate web of samples, all with a particular emphasis on percussion. It’s almost like an art project turned live show. The large crowd seemed to enjoy it for the most part, but – call me old-fashioned – a lot of it just wasn’t very musical to my ears.
There were a lot of glitchy sections that seemed unnecessary. They also suffered from a common issue that I find with bands of this nature where it seemed like too much of the meat of the songs came from the samples and not the musicians. Although I will admit, DOLDRUMS did have the air of something that would be a really excellent experience in the eyes of the right beholder – I just wasn’t that person.
I won’t say that I disliked them, and the show was certainly an interesting one-time experience, but it’s likely not something that I would return for.