The Stewart Dolly is a four-piece band comprised of Bob (guitar/vocals), Lord Byron (guitar/vocals), Paul (bass/vocals) and Johnny (drums) that recently released their second album entitled Wonderful. Wonderful is a complete DIY effort and has about the sound quality of a demo. The bass is barely audible and there are a number of issues but nonetheless a number of the songs still shine through.
When listening to Wonderful it’s hard not to hear the almost eerily similarities to Weezer at times. I felt like I was listening to unreleased practice tapes from Weezer's early days. The band has the same happy-go-lucky nerd rock vibe and you hear moments that sound like they came straight from Rivers Cuomo's playbook. On their Bandcamp page the band states they sound like Pavement, which is arguable. You can make a case for a record like Slanted and Enchanted but they sound nothing like Pavement’s Terror Twilight era.
The band opens up with “Jerkstore” which feels like a suburban journal that makes fun of itself. The vocalist sings, “What could I say? The other day you had me Feeling so lame, I bet it made you happy. My perfect comeback waits; I thought of it too late.”
“Risk” displays the band's vocal harmonies while “Almost Carmen” relies on distorted power chords and infectious vocal harmonies. As the album progresses the songs start to bleed into each other. The band doesn’t deviate from their style or structure except for “Wonderful” (which was an exceptional tune) and by the twelfth song I was wiped out.
This album is a whopping sixteen tracks with no filler. The album would have been much more effective if they picked out their eight best songs instead laying down a double album's worth of tunes that sound very similar.
The band has talent, skill and the ability to write a song. That being said they are going to have to take that energy and do a bit of digging to find their own style. If they are hoping to do this as anything more than a hobby they're going to have to shed their similarities to Weezer because they are too noticeable and apparent.
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