Friday, May 06, 2022

The Dogmatics - Drop That Needle


I can still remember how excited I was when I first heard that The Dogmatics would be putting out new material for the first time in decades. It has been two-and-a-half years already since the release of the band's "comeback" EP She's the One -- which turned out to be every bit as good as I had hoped. Advance singles released in recent months had me thinking that the follow-up Drop That Needle would be even better. I was not wrong! Out today on Rum Bar Records, Drop That Needle finds the best band to ever come out of Boston in fine form. Push play, and you'll be delighted to hear that The Dogmatics still sound like The Dogmatics. But by no means does this release fall into the "for fans only" category. Far from resting on their laurels, The Dogmatics are quickly establishing themselves as one of the most excellent garage rock and roll bands going today. I previously referred to the the title track as the "ultimate garage rocker" and see no reason to disagree with myself. "Automat Kalashnikov," the first Dogmatics song to be written and sung by Peter O' Halloran, is a crackling return to the band's punk rock roots. "Think Twice" is unlike anything you've ever heard from The Dogmatics before. This folk tune is a collaboration with James Young (from Peter O' Halloran & The Hired Men), who sings lead vocals and plays mandolin. I hope The Dogmatics do more songs like this in the future! The Jerry Lehane penned rocker "Don't Break My Heart" sounds like the best Rockpile song you never heard. Finishing off the EP is "Acid Rain," a song written by the late, great Paul O' Halloran and featuring his brother Peter on lead vocals. This was the track I was most excited to hear, and it does not disappoint! You can feel Paul's spirit in this recording, and his lyrics are truly chilling in the wake of what's been happening to our environment in recent decades. What a wonderful tribute to Paul O' Halloran! To this day, there is no Dogmatics without him. 

"Aging like fine wine" is undoubtedly one of the most egregious music reviewer clich├ęs in the book, but it certainly describes The Dogmatics to a T. Put on Drop That Needle, and you'll hear sounds that are both familiar and full of surprises. Not content to be remembered for their old classics, The Dogmatics are well on their way to authoring a whole slew of new ones. This band honors the past but is not stuck in it. And as the garage/punk/rock and roll scene continues to flourish at the grass roots level, it's a joy to see more and more people becoming hip to an eternal truth: The Dogmatics rule!

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