I love the sound of music recorded to tape because it just sounds better to me. Maybe it’s the low-end bump I swear I hear or just the way it feels like someone is playing in a room when you listen to it. I think my thoughts may resonate with Dextrophobia as the band recorded the seven songs of their EP Exhaust on an eight-track reel-to-reel tape machine. The tonal quality of these songs feels warm with just the perfect amount of saturation that made those records from 1970’s sound so good.
The band currently play out of Austin, TX, and is a three-piece consisting of Chase Newton (guitar/vocals/jingle bells), Adrian Orozco (bass/vocals) and Zack Orozco (drums). Their music combines hard rock with some funk as well as sublime-esque rap/talking. They are a bit all over the place which can sometimes be distracting but if they can utilize this talent a little bit better in the future it can be a great asset.
Kicking off with “Walkin’” the band showcases one of the strongest songs on the album. The crunchy guitars work well with the somewhat funky riff and the nonchalant voice of the singer. It’s a good version of Jack Daniels inspired garage rock that can get you on the dance floor. “Stop Counting” has a different feel altogether. It sounded like an outtake from a sublime album. The vocals are spoken with a swagger over the loose drum beat and bass line. Once the chorus hits it reverts to a garage rock vibe. The transition could have been a bit smoother but it wasn't bad. The high point was that jazzy guitar chords that were being played towards the end of the song. The next song “Cup Of Spiders” continues with the sublime-inspired spoken word rapping while “Between Street Lamps” would be the song considered to sound the most like indie or alternative. The album ends with “Cope,” which is an upbeat pop song that sheds any hard rock tendencies that you heard before.
This album has some impressive songs and good production but it is ultimately plagued with an identity crisis. Dextrophobia try to cram in too many styles making the album feel imbalanced at times. That being said some individual songs such as “Walkin’” would be a great song isolated as a single but loses some of its allure when brought into the context of the album.
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