Big Dopes – Shoulder Chips
“In the bathroom getting stoned with the captain of the law” is the opening line to Big Dopes’ Shoulder Chips and a fairly good indicator of the band’s artistic direction. Underneath the laid back, fuzzed-out guitars and offbeat lyrics, the band members are music fans devoted to 90s alternative rock.
The bands at whose feet they worship, Built to spill or Pavement, were highly-resourceful stoners, making lo-fi masterworks capable of standing alongside the best of what 70s alternative rock had to offer.
Big Dopes share in that philosophy. They seem like a band that could have easily made platinum sounding records but opted for these production values out of sheer love for the genre’s sonic textures. Mysterious, confident and unimpressed by the world’s affection, Big Dopes are worth checking out.
Boy Blue – Ghost of Saturday Night (feat. Jaret Reddick)
With a song name that recalls Tom Waits, a fun, quirky video and the vocal collaboration of Bowling for Soup’s Jaret Reddick, Boy Blue are a group that courts attention like a pop-punk group crashing MTV back in the late 90s.
Resume aside, Ghost of Saturday Night is as fun and emotional as you might expect. It will, most certainly, challenge your level of cynicism. If you are one to get excited about large gang vocals shouting “Oh, oh” against memorable, minimalist guitar riffs, you’re bound to enjoy it. If fun is not really your cup of tea, you might not.
Boy Blue, however, would rather you like them. They surely put a lot of effort into their work and are not beyond making themselves liked. Frankly, it’s refreshing to hear and see a band that is not beyond wishing for good things to happen to them.