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  • Writer's pictureMichael Bless

Dobbeltgjenger- Smooth Failing (Album Review)

Some of the most formative moments of my musical taste have come by way of playing sport video games when I was younger. I still play some of these songs and listen to them on repeat to this day. I would spend hours playing games like FIFA and Madden, not because I loved the gameplay, but because I was so entranced by the musical selections in these menus. The music I enjoy now is very much informed by my love of the tracks that graced these games in the mid 2000’s and the early 2010’s. Listening to Dobbeltgjenger’s 3rd record, Smooth Failing brought back nostalgic memories of getting home from school, firing the Xbox on and losing myself in the songs that graced these games, thanks to the extremely catchy nature of Dobbeltgjenger’s overall sound and presence. Smooth Failing is the type of record I could see selling out stadiums or closing hot festival days out, with it’s fun energy while maintaining a sort of sense of danger throughout. Dobbeltgjenger succeeds in creating something catchy that will remind you of many other experiences while still maintaining a sense of unpredictability that will have you on your toes at any given moment.

Throughout the entirety of Smooth Failing, Dobbeltgjenger are able to captivate audiences with these insanely catchy guitar grooves covered in a tinge of funk that keep their dark edge while still being danceable. This record is able to capitalize on the cynicism that could be found in indie rock bands of the mid 2000’s while still keeping things jovial for audiences. The sound is best described by the band themselves, stating that this record was conceived at a time in their lives while they were going through a lot of dark moments in their lives, but throughout you can see the band is having fun and keeping themselves entertained by making some very questionable decisions. It’s a party album that is rooted in a lot of dark places, almost as the members of the band are rejoicing as they are making poor life choices. It is a really refreshing take on a depressing time in the life of an artist, as it seems a lot of musicians tend to reflect on these moments in a way that makes it seem like they are out of the rut in their lives and have come out of their dark time a better person. Dobblegjenger takes a different angle, as this almost feels like a soundtrack best suited towards driving through hell and destruction and not knowing if you’ll make it out a changed person or just as messed up as ever, and I for one really appreciate the honesty in that statement.

Smooth Failing is a record rooted in so many different musical influences. While not all of these influences are defined as ‘tasteful’ by music writers, Dobbeltgjenger somehow finds a way to take these influences and pulls them off. Throughout this record I am reminded of 70’s prog rock, Talking Heads, various stadium rock acts, 2000’s modern rock radio, and Interpol, amongst a horde of other things I could rattle off, but am not going to, as I don’t exactly love referring to musicians in articles. I feel as it takes away from the genius of a record and makes a review seem less credible. The reason I bring these up is because Dobbeltgjenger are the musical equivalent of a casserole you make at 2 in the morning, when you may have had too much to drink and decide to throw things that may or may not taste good together. Somehow, when this casserole comes out of the oven, it tastes absolutely heavenly. Dobbeltgjenger are somehow able to pull off so many things throughout Smooth Failing, and the listener can’t help but sit back and enjoy while their jaw is completely dropped on the floor.

To call Smooth Failing a success for the Bergen-based band would be a massive understatement. Dobbeltgjenger shows that they can think outside of the box and create something that can stand alone by itself, creating incredibly captivating tracks that will have your body moving in no time. It’s the type of record that doesn’t come around often and is expertly crafted for a wide array of listeners. Dobbeltgjenger are built for the art of the live show, and I cannot wait when they can get back on the road again, because this band will attract new fans like it’s nothing.

Favorite Tracks: Come On Over, La Dee Da

Least Favorite Track: Do the Wrong Things

Rating: 8.2/10

Listen to the track 'JOHANNA', from Dobbeltgenger's latest album, Smooth Failing, below:

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