Music Review: Dot Dot Dot – E.P II

by Luke McGee on August 29, 2010

I am often ridiculed for my fandom of pop music. I do see most pop music for what it is, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t think there’s anything wrong with liking well constructed, musically solid and perfectly produced pop songs. Obviously there isn’t anything wrong with it – aside from people being allowed the freedom to think whatever the hell they like about anything (the bastards!!!) most pop music has been purpose written to appeal to as many people as possible. You might say “oh, but it’s so commercial”, well, so is Pepsi (or any other drink you might care to imagine) but you enjoy it, so lap it up. You could also say “but it’s also shallow, it means nothing”, the same could be said of action films, most television, most ‘serious’ music if we’re being honest. You don’t go to McDonalds for fine cuisine, but you probably do go. Think about it and get over yourself. Shall we move on?

So, now I suppose your expecting me to gush over some bubblegum, smile-a-thon pop music? You’re wrong. Dot Dot Dot have everything correct on paper. The music is fun, tight, eclectic and follows a perfect formula resulting in energetic and effective highs and lows. The band are trendy, good looking and doubtlessly talented. Big ticks all over place.

Why then have I gone to the bother of explaining why I like pop music before talking about the band in any depth? I did this because despite knowing all the above of pop music and being a large defender and apologist of its obvious flaws, my main complaint with Dot Dot Dot exposes me as a massive hypocrite – I hate the vocals and lyrics for their total lack of depth.
Sweet Lucifer, I’ve never heard such annoying bilge in my entire life and I happily listen to McFly by choice.

The first song ‘Walking In A Straight Line’ is less a victim of the above than other songs on the E.P. Although the vocals are essentially just playing the role of cheerleader for this uptempo fun-fumble, they are not in anyway out of place and in this particular song, chanted counting in to the chorus and easily remembered repeated lines add to the excitement. It’s also nice to hear a mix of male and female vocals.

Sadly things take an immediate turn for the worse when we are confronted with the E.P’s second track ‘Around The World And Back’ (video below). An excellent opening that doesn’t sound dissimilar from The Cure’s ‘Close To Me’ is quickly ruined by some extraordinarily breathy and annoying vocals (think James Blunt with asthma and American). A similar story in the chorus; lovely chord progressions, fun and poppy synth lines completely destroyed by lyrics so heavily littered with the word “love” and little else you won’t be able to stop cringing, retching or self harming.
This song is the biggest victim of the E.P’s tasteless vocal assault, but it’s a repeat offender and sadly every song is to some degree plagued by this nuisance.

Final track ‘Hold You Tonight’ is to my ears the most obvious single on the album and has by far the most catchy lyrics and tune. It is a pretty flawless pop song in which everything is entirely bearable including a guitar solo.

There are plenty of artists that I’ve remained a fan of despite terrible lyrics and vocals, Biffy Clyro and probably being the best example of that. This should have been the case with Dot Dot Dot. I know some people have a better tolerance for these things than me and it’s entirely possible that a lot of you might like this music, so I’ll leave you with a music video to watch and if you like that you can consider buying the E.P by clicking here.

If you would like to be reviewed the please get in touch; luke@routenote.com or on twitter @monkeyhotel

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