In some ways, rock music is in its darkest hour. The guitar is virtually absent from radio and popular music. The real rock bands that fans religiously follow are the same ones they have for just shy of thirty years—Pearl Jam, Tool, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, and James Addiction. Most recently, we got blessed with the UK’s Royal Blood. However, America finally has an answer to Royal Blood in the form of The Dose.
This week, the band comprised of Indio Downey [vocals, guitar] and Ralph Alexander [drums, percussion] closed out a four-week residency at the Hotel Café in Los Angeles, CA. The group delivered an earthshaking, emotional, and entrancing set that showcased the expanse of their sound, intimacy of their songwriting, and power of their delivery. On record, the group’s music channels the ghosts of grunge, punk grit, indie panache, and alternative progression into a ponderous, poetic, and powerful collection of songs. However, the songs are so good that the band can strip down to their bare bones and play them acoustically.
Inside the packed Hotel Café, Indio and Ralph performed with just an acoustic guitar, vocal, and percussive box. It proved astonishing that Ralph could conjure the same propulsive backdrop with just this wooden box he simultaneously sat on. It’s a credit to how deft of a drummer he is.
Meanwhile, Indio carried stark emotion with a soulful cadence that carried over the acoustic strum of the single “Cold Hands.” The single remained equally irresistible and incisive. “Shadows Close Behind” touched Dark Side of the Moon-style atmospherics with its lush landscape. The ominous “This Paradise” gave way to an unshakable refrain, while the new “Escape” galloped on an upbeat charge.
An elegantly executed cover of Jane’s Addiction’s “Jane Says” brought everything full circle. The Dose paid homage to the genre forbearers while moving forward at the forefront of a new generation.
Everything culminated on the delicate “Gone.” It stitched everything together lacing the threads of the past, present, and now future. The millennials finally have their great American rock band. It’s The Dose. It’s the light rock needs.
Check out the band’s official site.
Get “Cold Hands” on Apple Music.
By: Rick Florino