Artist: Doors To No Where
Album: Darkness Falls
Label: Desert Records
Release Date: 21/05/2021
Country: United States
The band hail from Santa Cruz, California and play a super grungy blend of desert and stoner rock. Think Alice In Chains meets Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age but with a few unusual punk (i.e. Melvins) influences thrown in here and there. The band is Marc Lewis (vocals, guitar, Moog, keys), Pete Testorff (drums) and Marc Prefontaine (bass). The album also features guest appearances by Aaron Cooper (percussion, horns and keys) and Bob Balch (guitar on “Darkness Falls”).
Regarding the release vocalist/guitarist Marc Lewis had this to say:
“During such a challenging time in the world I felt so lucky to have music to help escape. “Darkness Falls” was a labor of love and I’m proud of the record we made. Lyrically I was influenced by what was going on and the hardships I saw so many going through. I think this record captures a moment of time that was truly unprecedented.”
Now onto the music! The album is a perfect meeting point between styles, with the grunge elements beautifully complimenting the stoner/desert rock elements on the album. Just when you think things may start to become any less captivating than they are you’re suddenly met with a bunch of punk elements thrown into the mix. I gave the example of the Melvins as a punk influence, but at times I also hear what could be influences from Dax Riggs of Acid Bath in the mix. What I’m trying to say is that this album is all over the place, but in a completely controlled and structured way. There is no frantically jumping back and forth between styles and there’s no confusion as to the band’s identity, they know exactly what they are doing.
You’ll find shifts in mood and tone where things will go from depressive and moody grunge soaked segments to somewhat trippy desert/stoner rock parts with plenty of groove and some fuzz. Then there are some spaced out and almost esoteric psychedelic elements that show up at times. You will find a gear shift though when that punk energy comes into the mix and livens the whole thing up. I have to give praise to the smoothness of the transitions on this release, everything flows smoothly from one concept/idea to the next and feels extremely natural while doing so.
The vocals on the album would definitely have to be one of my favourite elements. They are spacy and distorted but not to an extent that they lose any of their unique charm or sound over-edited. There is quite a bit of power behind them to when it’s called for with parts of the album being truly belted out. They also happen to suit all of the musical styles incorporated on the album with slight changes to their energy and inflection. The guitar work on the release is fantastic and you will find not only plenty of groove, but some brilliant riffs and even a mind bending solo or two. The bass work on the release is also fantastic and at times is sitting front and center in the mix. Drum wise you will find that punchy desert rock energy and at times even some punk energy flows through, but you also get the chiller and more downtempo stoner and grunge elements. The Moog and keys on the album add that much more depth to the overall sound and really give it that finishing touch that helps to elevate it from a good to a great release.
One of my favourite tracks would definitely have to be Darkness Falls, it’s just a truly killer piece of music and having Bob Balch of Fu Manchu and Big Scenic Nowhere showcase his legendary guitar skills makes it that much more epic. This isn’t just the trippiest/most spaced-out track on the album, it’s also the most immersive and the longest coming in at almost 8 minutes. I also happen to really enjoy the energy of Lie,Lie,Lie (which you can hear at the link above), the track just has a real punch to it.
On the whole this is a fantastic release and is something that will appeal to a wide range of listeners. There is enough diversity at play that nobody should get bored of what’s on offer. Song writing wise and in regard to musicianship the album is on point and as far as relisten value goes I will definitely be coming back to this one. So, take some time today and give the pre-released tracks a spin and put your pre-order in for this Friday.
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