Dungeonesse – Dungeonesse album review

Dungeonesse’s music seems best suited for party atmospheres where people wont be paying much attention, because under any sort of scrutiny most songs on their self titled album tend to lose something. However, when it fades into the background it becomes rather pleasant, I can imagine mobs prone to dancing being all about Dungeonesse, though I think they’ll eventually gravitate towards inevitable remixes as the poppy song lengths contradict the dance floor affinity they’ve presented. There’s nothing worse for keeping people dancing than a song thats too short, and without any sort of functional outro there’s nothing in place for DJ’s to pick up Dungeonesse’s slack.

For self proclaimed fans of pop I feel like they missed the whole deceptively part of the deceptively simple formula. The lyrics don’t pull any punches and ironically are sometimes too verbose for their own good. Where some more concise prose would make an exceptional counterpart to the singers vocal capabilities, they seem hell bent on fitting as much fluff as possible into a three and a half minute stint. Their maximalist take, accidental or not, could use a masterclass from Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano; there is no need to write a word for every single note sung. There’s no shame in using the voice as an instrument first, and communicator second, especially when the lyrics aren’t deep in the first place. I’d love to see what she can do when if/when she breaks free from trying to emphasize each and every word to just focus on complimenting the music instead. Where Dungeonesse tries to take the scenic route it ends up like a GPS malfunction guiding you through the industrial district on a two lane 30 mph road, but damned if you aren’t in a brand new Ferrari during the journey. Dungeonesse has what it takes to be the luxurious and high end group they seek to be, but they may have to re-evaluate what it is that makes a great song, not just a good one. That is, if they even care about writing great songs, as they might be content with the sound they’ve crafted.

Even though I’ve found a fairly lengthy list of things to nitpick, Dungeonesse is a talented showing. Perhaps I’m being so critical only because its rare to see technical talent like this in the indie scene. There’s psychological effect I’ve found to be true with talented musicians: once you’ve given the listener a taste of your above average skills, they’ll expect you to keep rising above your own average, whereas an artist who’s appeal consists of their character or style alone can skate by with below average skills, so long as they craft a unique sound. In a way, the better a musician gets, the more critical the response they will receive as they’ve proven that they have potential for even greater heights. Imagine a band who only had one song with a guitar solo, but it was the best guitar solo you’ve ever heard (ok so maybe guitar solos aren’t currently in vogue, but just go with it). Going back to their other songs may be a bit of a let down if you’ve come to identify their singular guitar solo song as representative of their true potential.

Dungeonesse has yet to create that song, respectively with vocal and writing chops, but if and when they do it could be a game changer. I just hope their personal goals aren’t set too low by their fascination of pop songs.

By Keith Roberts

Keith is a writer, guitarist, and hobby producer out of the Greater Boston area.

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