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Big Dopes and Islands Reviewed

Big Dopes and Islands Reviewed

Big Dopes – Moon Car

Similar artists: Harvey Danger, They Might Be Giants, Violent Femmes, CAKE, Motion City Soundtrack

Genre: 90s Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop

Utter the words “pop music” nowadays to anyone with a record collection, and they’ll consider slapping you over the ear. Those are dirty words, you see, and they conjure up terrible images and sonic illusions. Furthermore, they make you think of sweaty managers auditioning teenagers in their basement and later robbing them blind should they be single, actually making it big in Germany or Japan. 

Pop music has acquired this reputation primarily because of the greed of a few people in the music industry and the incompetence of some of the people with whom they surrounded themselves. But pop used to be a joyful thing. It used to be something that brought people together that they could instantly enjoy and not think too much about. 

And who wrote those pop songs? Often, it was quirky, bizarre characters who had an idea or two about how music writing worked and who weren’t going to be persuaded to join a Beatles cover band. Big Dopes’ “Moon Car” is a delightful power-pop band written by people who, judging from the first 15 seconds of the song, sound like experts in melodic songwriting. These people aren’t many. They only made a slight touch to get listeners to lose themselves in this celebration, that is, pop music. Oh, yeah, Big Dopes take their name seriously, too and not much else. That ought to make things particularly annoying for those who spend fortunes trying to acquire these skills from fancy schools.


Islands – Drown A Fish

Similar artists: The Unicorns, Born Ruffians, Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown

Genre: Indie Rock, Indie Pop

Most young artists are so convinced of their own brilliance and so disrespectful of their fans’ time that they create works that require numerous hours to begin to comprehend. Sure, if you possess a bit of talent and natural sadness, you’ll obviously wish to share it with the world. Just make it brief, alright? People have their own sad stories that they need to deal with. 

The risk is becoming a kind of David Foster Wallace: someone convinced that their calling is to outdo James Joyce, someone without any clear idea about what to write and plenty of paper on which to try. Why write one great song when you can try to write a hundred in the vanity-driven attempt to get your supporters to forsake all other activities with the goal of understanding who you really are?

Islands’ “Drown A Fish” won’t need a lot of time to convince you of the only two things that you’ll need to know: a. This is a wonderful pop song, and b. This is a band whose music is powered by great ideas. But they’re modest, too. They don’t need to blow their own horn to tell you about all the books they supposedly read, or play your solos in Lydian. Nah, all Islands need this time is three minutes of your time, and they’ve won. 

Big Dopes - Moon Car

8.5

Islands - Drown A Fish

8.5

Pros

Cons

About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website www.alt77.com. Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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