May 27, 2015

Dank: Dank Review

(Independent Release) Athens/Atlanta band Dank Sinatra’s recent decision to change their already questionable moniker to the simpler but somehow more unfortunate “Dank” did not bode well for the group’s output moving forward. Thankfully, their self-titled debut album, a mix of bluesy stadium-rock and winking prog posturing, exceeds expectations. (It’s only technically a debut; Dank Sinatra released the schizophrenic Strange in 2013.)

Opener “Crash the Door” opens with a taut, Spoon-like organ line, which is quickly enveloped by a swirling intro. Soon, angular guitars and a tom-heavy drumbeat enter the frame. The track sets the stage for the rest of the album, which follows suit with nine more tracks of capable, vaguely psychedelic retro-rock.

“Last Night” is not a Strokes cover, but it does suggest the swaggering, British-revivalist garage-rock so popular during that band’s heyday. Elsewhere, “Quarter” and “Pieces” act as lite versions of Yes’ epic prog-funk workouts. (There’s also a hint of Alice in Chains’ Layne Staley in the vocals, which will either delight or disgust depending on your tolerance for ‘90s MOR-grunge.) Dank’s last two songs are its best. “Magazine” and “Morphine” find the band expertly segueing quiet acoustic psych into full-band bombast.

Dank plays Nowhere Bar on Thursday, May 28 and Friday, May 29.