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Music Review: Band of the Week, Dollar Sent

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Admit it. In this age of studio wizardry that can make every note perfect, super slick production that seeks to add as much as it can to a lacking base, and multi-million dollar advertisement campaigns designed to fool you into thinking that “it’s a lifestyle and not a pose,” the idea that loud, drunken, boisterous and downright talented rock bands are not only still plugging in, but doing so and giving audiences a reason to cheer and pump their fists into the air, just doesn’t seem possible.

How can a record be good if teenagers calling into MTV don’t say it’s good?

In only twenty-three minutes, Dollar Sent’s self-titled EP rips through all those preconceptions, as well as your eardrums, and shows you that it’s not only possible but happening right now on your stereo. Each and every one of the eight songs on the EP (six original studio recordings and two live tracks, to boot) finds that dark place hiding inside of you that feared all things glorious and heavy about Rock N’ Roll was dead. In fact, it not only finds it but proceeds to sonically blow it away.

The guys of Dollar Sent.Kicking off with the frenetic energy of “Girl From St. Marys,” the CD immediately had me looking in awe at my speakers as the monster riff of “Hey Yeah,” thundered its way into my head. Wow. It has been a long time since a riff has taken hold of my head and forced me to unconsciously head bang to the rhythm of the music, but it was something I eagerly welcomed back.

“Mess of Me,” the third track on the CD, stumbles out of the gate with this wonderful swagger that rides on the amazing voice of singer and lead guitarist, Chris Rizzanski. I’m sure he’s tire of hearing that his voice sounds like a younger version of Lemmy from Motorhead, but to be fair it was probably born by the twin parents of cigarettes and the occasional trip to the bar.

Either way, while it may sound a bit like Lemmy, it’s not a put-on or a copy. Rizzanski just has this wonderfully deep growl of a voice. It fits the band perfectly, by the way.

Following up “Mess of Me” is “The Love,” which chugs along on the heavy-as-hell bass and drum rhythm set up by drummer Sparky Rogers and bassist Loz Serota. As soon as that song finishes, your ears might think that this is usually the part of a CD where the band breaks it down into a ballad or at least a slower song.

Hell no. The next track is yet another monster-sized mo-fo of a song, entitled “King of Your Scene.” Full of vitriol and some damned fine guitar playing on Rizzanski’s part, it’s probably the strongest song on the album. Love it. Next up is the final of the studio tracks, entitled “Kandy.” Once again, the boys from Brighton shove the throttle all the way down and ride along a gorgeous rock track as their amps scream at being turned all the way “to eleven” for so long.

The final two tracks are live recordings of the band doing “Mess of Me” and “Girl from St. Marys” in concert. While it may seem like a bit of a let down seeing two live versions of songs that are already on the only eight song deep album, I assure you that they are worth listening to and they are worth being on the CD.

Just getting to hear Dollar Sent  pull off these songs and the fierce energy that fuels them in a live setting and not just in the studio, is well worth my time and yours.

The only complaint I have about this recording, at all, is that it is so short. Maybe that’s just me getting used to the idea of “filling up” a CD with all that it can hold, instead of making an album and keeping it only as long as it needs to be to take form. Who knows? Hell, it could just be that these guys were born a generation or two past the time that would have been right for them… the time when rock gods ruled.

‘Cause they’d have been up there, demanding a bit of the throne, too. Y’know, I bet this album would have sounded killer on vinyl!

Out now on Ampwitch, Dollar Sent’s self-titled EP is available for purchase on their myspace page. If my review made you curious at all, hop on the web and give them a visit and maybe purchase a CD or a t-shirt.

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About Michael Jones

  • http://www.alharper.com A.L. Harper

    GREAT review Michael! Sounds like an EP I need to pick up.

  • http://myowncommotion.org Michael Jones

    It is! I’m hoping, postal services willing, to be able to listen to a small sneak-preview of the stuff they’re recording in the studio at the moment. I can’t tell you how geeked I am, about that.

  • http://www.alharper.com A.L. Harper

    I love when you get demo’s and the like from bands. That is the coolest part of this!