The Dollfins: masters of gunk

By Alex Maggs

Photo sourced from Flickr

Summer is upon us and that calls for lazy sunny days, wild beach parties, and driving along the coast with the windows down and a surfboard strapped to the roof. Capetonian band, The Dollfins, make a good argument that their music is the perfect soundtrack to a summer holiday.

Relatively new on the scene, The Dollfins formed in 2011 with members Danielle Hitchcock on guitar and vocals, Kelly Egan on bass and vocals, and David Thorpe on drums. The band describe their style as gunk or garage punk and name their main influence as the 1970s punk band The Cramps whose edgy sounds  can be heard in almost every track of The Dollfin’s self-titled debut album. Download it for free here.

In an interview with South African Music Scene the band described their album as follows:
“There are 10 tracks. They are all definitely songs. There are some guitar parts and bass parts and drum parts in each one. We recorded it in our lounge.”

Their tongue-in-cheek attitude not only shows in their interviews but is also evident in their playful lyrics. I love deep heart-wrenching lyrics as much as the next person but this album is completely free of unrequited love and moody whining. The only way to describe the lyrics is pure and simple fun.
With a slightly rough and gritty quality to the sound the album manages to achieve an old-school feel. Although this might not have been intentional (lounge-recordings are difficult to polish), it definitely works.

The album strikes a perfect balance between the electric-guitar dominated tunes of the surfing ’60s, and angry ’90s grunge. Their raw sound carries through the album, particularly in tracks such as “Bitch” and “Kiss me Quick” which are arguably their best tracks. The rest of the songs on the album are just as fast-paced and quirky. Hitchcock has a unique and sexy voice similar to that of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s lead singer Karen O and Bethany Cosentino from Californian surf pop band Best Coast.

The album is a head-banging, noise-making, dancing hit, but the harsh quality of the tracks can get a bit much so if you’re expecting the smooth sound of The Beach Boys, you’ve got the wrong band. “In My Head” is the slowest tune on the album and is slightly more melodic, a nice break from the noise of the rest of the tracks.

Catchy melodies and fresh sounds make this the ideal summer soundtrack. It’s free too, so you have no excuse not to download and enjoy.

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One thought on “The Dollfins: masters of gunk

  1. Pingback: The Dollfins | Science and Technology

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