Since being founded in cramped Baltimore practice room in 2018, alt rock quartet Dosser have been anything but idle. Countless local shows and fine tuning their sound, before releasing their first EP Brainscan. The album manages to feel current while still being a fitting nod to ’90s grunge. Something attempted by many but achieved by few.
One thing I always loved about the genre was the sense of escape it offered. You could close your eyes, drift off and interpret it your own way. This is perfectly encapsulated by Dosser themselves: “Dosser’s lyrics tend to shift between an internal battle with mental illness and a short, distant daydream. Bret and I try to write lyrics that are personal, but still vague enough to allow the listener to interpret them however they apply to their own lives.” You might argue that I’ve seen that quote and interpreted it to apply to my review of the record. How cynical of you.
The opening track ‘Weighed Down’ is a perfect example of this: crunchy guitars and dreamy vocals lilting out lyrics which could have been created by an online grunge lyric generator. There is a dark undertone to the track which is broken up nicely by picked guitar and hum-a-long choruses before crashing back like a wave dragging you down under the sea.
Each track on this EP is exceptionally tight and well put together, none more so than ‘Sleep’. The vocals give the feel of a haunting lullaby but it’s more of an ode to the crushing feeling of lying awake staring at the ceiling with the world on your shoulders. At the time of writing (11.30pm), I’m currently wide-awake staring at the snow out of my window and this is the perfect soundtrack.
My personal favourite on this EP is ‘Kung Lao’. Heavy, driving bass giving it an almost industrial feel. One of the more upbeat tracks on the record, but you get the feeling that Dosser are never shouting at you, more quietly yet forcefully suggesting you listen.
At just over 20 minutes long, this EP feels short and sweet. It is, however an incredibly enjoyable 20 minutes which takes you back to bowl cuts, skateboards and scuffed Converse.
If anyone needs me, I will be listening to Deftones and chain smoking.
Order Brainscan via Bandcamp.