posted on 9/2008 By:
There are few things more frustrating than bands that harbor cool ideas, but are outright clumsy when it comes to their execution. Chingalera's sweet, serpentine take on stoned-out doom has tons of potential for coolness. The cold-filtered, frosty-bong flavor they emit comes courtesy of a fantastic guitar tone - a Led Zeppelin-caught-in-a-Pacific Northwest-wind-circa-1994 vibe that is almost heartwarming. And the riffs - one part Helmet, one part Trouble, one part meandering laziness- are capable of fleeting captivation. As a whole, however, Dose suffers from unneccessary bloat (5 songs in 59 minutes), a crippling lack of focus, and a major weakness that is tough for any band of any genre to overcome.
Yes, the vocals suck. And, to be fair, the band seem to be aware of their limitations in this regard. Guitarist/yeller Dave Gibner steps to the mic stand somewhat sparingly, and the band make liberal use of guest vocalists (Eddie Solis, Pete Stahl, and Keith Morris) on the album's longest "real" track, "Twenty-Three". Despite the diversion, the flaw sticks, rendering the album a disappointment rather than a sexy surprise. Chingalera seem to be among the ranks that couldn't procure a real singer and just said, "Fuck it. We can handle it."
As is the case with Mastodon, and, to make a more lateral comparison, Bloodhorse, the flaw is both obvious and annoying. Chingalera are in the business of creating sprawling sludgescapes; accompanying their occaisionally-interesting tapestries with Gibner's artless, distorted yelping creates an insurmountable barrier to enjoyment. Perhaps if their post-rock-esque chip off the stoner/sludge block were more compelling, more immediate, more emotionally invested, this flaw would be easier to overlook, but as it stands, it only exacerbates their structural shortcomings and contributes to their lack of substance.
Placing a sixteen-minute ambient/noise track entitled "You Were Happy When You Came In Here" in the Track 2 position is a bad idea - especially when the only clever trait it carries is its title. Stretching four-minute songs into the eight-minute range to fill album space is a bad idea - especially when you want to keep the listener awake and coherent. Slapping psuedo-flashy guest vocals onto what is essentially a meandering jam-session is a bad idea - especially when the talent involved could be applied to something impactful, rather than the quickly-dissipating smoke ring that flows from their lips. Spending 59 minutes of your life listening to Dose when you could be listening to something that rocks is a bad idea - especially when you...um, shit, I don't know...want to listen to something that rocks, perhaps?
Hit the snooze button too many times, and you'll be late for work...
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