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Dozer - Vultures Award winner

Dozer
Vultures
by Barbie Rose at 02 March 2021, 6:30 AM

From Borlänge, Sweden, DOZER released their fifth recording entitled “Vultures” on February 6 2021.  The first six songs are pre-production song versions that would later become the 2005 release entitled “Through The Eyes Of Heathens”; this album release includes an additional seventh song entitled “Vinegar Fly” that was originally written and performed by the music group SUNRIDE).

“The Blood Is Cold” - the first album track opens with a slow ascension of the scale degrees, which then repeats but the last note of the second prase moves to the minor seventh scale degree–one whole step beneath the root: creating an antecedent / consequent (question/answer) phrase construction  (in solfege) Do - Re -Mi - Fa // Do -  Re - Mi - (Ta)  // this  antecedent / consequent phrase structure repeats again - but with a slight rhythmic variation on the fourth beat: Do - Re -Mi - Fa // Do -  Re - Mi - (Ta). Rhymically, I’d write this “classic period” phrase construction in a 12/8 time signature:  a slow count of four (or with each beat subdivided into a fast triplet feel). This phrase structure is the basis for the verses & recapitulates at about two minutes.  Bass & Guitars are fully distorted as a grungy dirt sound for heavier stoner rock.

“Impostor” - the second album track opens with the chordal root played which then alters to the octave note - opening the listen’s aural range to the open scale: yet the minor seventh, via pull off, interjects as an accidental neighbor tone between the root and octave notes. The vocal phrases, and subsequent leads, indicate the minor modality. Fredrik Nordin has an extremely pleasant voice. Johdan Rockner at about one moment before the song ends recapitulates the song motif–eventually introducing a guitar solo by Tommi Holappa that is perfectly appropriate for the genre.

“Last Prediction” - the third album track opens with eighth notes picking the rhythm guitar motif - which ascends one half step before descending to the minor seventh scale degree.  The half step, like a swimming pool jumping board, serves like an escape tone (even with simple power chords)–and creates a thoroughly enjoyable, if not evocative, melodic curve by leaping the melodic interval of a minor third proper–leaping over the chord root which invites the listener to sing along.  This songwriter deserves a pat on the back–and, of course, a well deserved cookie.

“Vultures” - the fourth album track opens with a melodic lick that ascends toward the dominant.  The chord structure descends the melodic minor scale–sometimes with subsequent vertical progressions involving fourths. This tune - especially the leads (more through an accompaniment) are reminiscent of the nineteen sixties or early nineteen seventies. A thoroughly enjoyable tune. “Head Ghosts” - the fifth album track opens with one eighth note strike of the minor third before a continuous re-iterations of the tonic resound through an unceasing pattern of eighth-notes.  The song utilizes the minor seventh scale degree (almost like double neighbor tones) for chord structure variance within the key - with the fourth, subdominant scale degree in lieu of the dominant.  .

“To The Fallen” - the sixth album track opens with Olle Mårthans playing eighth notes on the floor toms (in four / four time) while accentuating the first and third beats. Johdan Rockner adds both rhythmic & melodic accent on the divided up-beat - and I find this unique & interesting & appealing. While the song is more of a sad longing through commemoration, I would like to hear more rhythmic developments of Olle Mårthans & Johdan Rockner. What better way to commemorate the fallen than to create a presence of the past through a rhythmic dance in the present.

“Vinegar Fly” (SUNRIDE cover) - the seventh and final album track opens with a nice floor tom rhythmic sequence - set from a thirty second note pick up - ba-ta bup-bup bah / ba-ta bup-bup bah / ba-ta bup-bup bah bup bup:  this rhythmic phrase is repeated for a classic rhythmic sequence of four iterations. As the guitars and bass enter - listeners can hear a background scream (in pitch) - as much a subtle pitch presence that perfectly captures the soprano register of the tonal structure. While this is stoner or grunge rock, and anti-rock star, I greatly enjoy the rhythmic feel that Olle Mårthans adds. The verses begin at about forty seconds into the song - and for this song, the guitars have less distortion among the stringed instrumentation - allowing for a cleaner “classic rock-n’ roll” sound.  Included within this song is a VI / IV / V progression - to keep interest within the harmonic progression; but then again, Olle Mårthans breaks up the beat but with perfect syncopated musicality–nice touches! At about four minutes, the song finalizes with additional distortion among the strings while Olle Mårthans adds “cymbolistic crashes” of a happy–but still foreboding end of

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Blood Is Cold
2. Impostor
3. Last Prediction
4. Vultures
5. Head Ghosts
6. To The Fallen
7. Vinegar Fly
Lineup:
Fredrik Nordin - Guitar&Vocals
Tommi Holappa - Guitar
Johdan Rockner - Bass
Olle Mårthans - Drums
Record Label: Heavy Psych Sounds
     


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