Sam Daugherty aka Dullsville is a project he started a couple years ago as a creative outlet. He recently released The Song Festers which is an eleven-song album. On his Bandcamp page he explains he is inspired by ’60s pop, post-punk and ’80s goth rock, and artistically inspired by Saturday Morning Cartoons, Archie Comics and Horror Movies. I found the melding of genres to be highly original and not just a typical combination of genres like blues, folk and rock or other genres that seem to go together.
Daugherty does a great job melding these genres and everything seems to lean in different ways. I was really impressed by how he takes aspects of goth and ’50s pop and makes it seem like a natural fusion.
The album starts with “Sad” which is an organ fueled song. It’s dark but also sort of fun. I was reminded of the group Gorillaz that sort of have a similar aesthetics. “Painted Like a Clown” was a highlight and another example of his genre bending in ways most artists won’t even think of. The ’50s vocal harmonies that then go into this metal riff was undeniably cool.
The post-punk goth blends with a sense of levity on “Under Control” which is fun and even a little humorous. I loved it. “Bite Size” is another highlight. The song is undeniably catchy but there are also some killer transitions such as the dissonant and vertigo inducing breakdown and chorus.
“Cowardly Dog” mixes of elements of bands like Queens of the Stone Age with grunge while “I Don’t Feel Well” is another testament to his ability to combine disparate genres. “Haunt Me” is a bit of a ballad and also a slow burn. “Burn It Down,” “So Ugly” and “Sayonara” were impressive in that the change is to slight degrees. He closes very strongly with “Sleep Forever” which sounds like a lullaby in some ways and is also him at his best by taking the song in directions you wouldn’t think.
This is an exceptional release and one of the most original albums I have heard this year. Highly recommended.
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