Dog, Paper, Submarine – Signal From Kepler 22b (Small Bear Records)
CD | DL
8.5 / 10
Melodic indie rock trio, Dog Paper Submarine, release their new EP. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.
Nothing sounds more like distorted, lo-fi pop-rock than distorted, lo-fi pop-rock does, and that’s exactly what it should say all over this album.
Six cracking tracks (seven if you count the 30 second intro of a title track) from the Norwegian trio made up of frontman Martin Månsson Sjöstrand, Carro (drums) and Emil (bass) create a thoroughly refreshing blend of indie, surf, faux-grunge and psychedelia which will blow the cobwebs away to kingdom come.
It’s jam-packed with raw guitars, throbbing bass and enormous drums and is, underneath all the fuzz and deformation, actually a pretty commercial affair just bursting to be set free. Ms Moonlet in particular is lively, catchy and difficult to forget, and that would seem to be the strong point of this EP – superb hooks that just cannot be easily forgotten .
There’s a hint of Blur’s Coffee & TV in Happiness To Reinvent and that’s no bad thing. In fact, Sjöstrand’s vocals aren’t unlike those of Damon Albarn at times, his words clear and precise albeit in a slightly different accent, but listen and you’ll get the drift.
Breaks from the main tune add spark and fire to several moments, anarchic in places and punk-like in attitude. It’s like the best of those American pretend-punk tunes have been given some meaning and life, and their melodies have been given a kick right up their baggy arsed jeans.
Weeping Firefighter has the best of those 60s singalong surf melodies, like Brian Wilson on crack cocaine as he screamed from the back seat of a bus, drinking neat vodka from the bottle. Intrigued? You should be, it’s all marvellous stuff.
On album closer Snail, it’s all power and madness again with a chorus which will become your earworm of the day should you allow it. There’s no doubt that Dog, Paper, Submarine pack a punch, the only problem with Signal From Kepler 22b is that it all ends far too soon.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here. You can also follow him on Twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news.