Chris Clesse (vocals/guitar), Thomas Lorimer (guitar), Patrick Daponte (drums) and Alec Irace (Bass) are the four members of Dwayne Champagne. Their recent release Sad Clown is a DIY effort that is a bit raw but has a good live vibe to it. At their core they play rock music that flirts with different styles and genres.
The first thing I noticed was the visceral energy of the band. It was the opener “I’ll Just Pretend” which is the highlight that gives you the feeling right out of the gate that the band is releasing a surplus of energy. The bass line and drums trudge forward as feedback from the guitar floats in the mix. The vocals as well as the vocal harmonies are catchy when they sing, “I’ll just pretend you didn’t break my heart.” You can hear a bit of Weezer and surf rock on the chorus and it sounds good on the band. The song’s finest moment comes towards the end. Around the two-minute mark the band goes into a breakdown. The vocals are probably the best on the album and once the band goes back into the verse the vocals start to break and sound appropriate.
The band has some more success with “Noting All The Strangeness.” It’s an upbeat song not too far from something you might hear from The Killers or Franz Ferdinand. There is an excellent breakdown section where the drums carry the momentum.
“Tense Off” while a decent song isn’t as strong as the first two tracks. There is a sublime vibe on this song. I have to say the crescendo at the end of the song is rather enjoyable. On “Please Strike Gently” the band dips their toes in jazz while combining it with rock and pop. They close with the title track with a solid rocker with another catchy vocal line.
Overall, Dwayne Champagne is a solid band with a good amount of potential. They have a great energy, exceptional vocal delivery and a fairly unique sound.
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