Dawes - We're All Gonna Die
Over the course of four albums Dawes have set expectations and then met them every time. This is a band that delivers what you know and what you want, mid tempo folksy rock with smart lyrics and a solid line in melodies. Oh, with the odd strafing guitar solo thrown in. The bulk of We’re All Gonna Die, their fifth long player, is led - as usual - by the vocals and guitar of Taylor Goldsmith, the everyday plain speaking lyrical style, and the themes of normal life that run through their previous work is present and correct. But it sounds different.
On the electronic fuzz of opener ‘One Of Us’ and lead single ‘When The Tequila Runs Out’ is both the Dawes you know and one that’s unfamiliar. Goldsmith’s vocals on the former have added effects while singing his patented real-life-on-song lyrics (“You look like one of them / But you talk like one of us”). The title track, and ‘Less Than Five Miles Away’, dial up the bass, another unfamiliar element for the quarter where the rhythm section have squarely been just that; there’s the staccato effects on the guitar on ‘Roll With The Punches’; the skittish beat and video game bleeps of ‘Quitter’; and it all works. Very well in fact. There are familiar sounds, the laid back pace of ‘Roll Tide’ for one, but they’re rare.
We’re All Gonna Die is the sound of a band moving out of their comfort zone with ease. It’s fresh and new but the same at heart. And that’s a tougher trick to pull off than Dawes make it sound.