Dover - The Flame
Note to Europe: for the sake of Western record companies stop putting UK/USA bands to shame on musical genres that they had once established as their own, because the way things are going the English speaking nations will soon have to emulate Europe as the driving force of any music scene. Dover are a ferociously exciting punk band with all of the trademark NYC attitude, with the exception that each of the band members actually live in a Madrid suburb.
Judging by the sounds on latest album The Flame, which is set to be the band’s making on UK soil, you’d have a hard time guessing that Dover are in fact Spanish, as the twelve songs on record rock in a fashion that can only suggest the band have been born in and lived on a sole diet of the finest London and NYC punkpop. The band are lead by sisters Cristina and Amparo Llanos, and have sold over a million albums in their native Spain. It’s surprising that it has taken so long for the word to reach our supposed-hallowed ears, as Dover, like their album title suggests, set fire to every other so-called punk band in their path. Songs like Afterhours are a brilliant sonic blitz that still manages to carry a melody, or whilst Honest has slower, but more accessible pop hooks. Someone Else’s Bed is the token acoustic ballad, whilst the wonderfully named Die For Rock And Roll picks up the rapid momentum once again. It might only last thirty minutes, but The Flame is a quick-fire cannon of treats.
What strikes you immediately about the songs on The Flame is the notion that the band are extremely tight, which provides an impression of polished musicianship without the idea that the songs are over-produced to ensure that radio-friendly sheen. The guitars by the Llanos sisters are perfect, whilst still sounding gritty and raw. Cristina has a good, raspy rock delivery which deliciously bounces off the jagged rhythm chords of each song, and she utilises her personality on the record as opposed to merely screaming along the generic punk conventions. If anything, Dover sound like eighties alternative punk before it found its way towards the front of the nineties musical scene. Hell, we already have enough punk bands in this day and age to never need another again, but in Dover we have a band that we dearly need.