In a world where it often feels like “it” has most certainly already happened and you are pretty damn sure that “it” has more in store, I must admit that the interestingly named Dohny Jep’s EP did not immediately endear on title alone. The good news is that this was my biggest gripe with this excellent alternative rock EP. A follow up to the band’s 2020 debut album L.U.S.T, much of the themes and lyrics of this four track effort reflect a band in period of frustration and spinning the wheels after building up excellent early momentum that the state of the world leaves little opportunity to capitalise on: “Another step behind the dotted line, forget the goal, try not to lose your mind.” For most of us, these are likely themes that it is easy to empathise with in 2021.
Musically, Dohny Jep are familiar enough for an easy listen yet with enough that is different to make them sound interesting and unique. The band is particularly adept at mixing electronic influence, synths and voice effects into their work. “Get Fucked,” (Again I can’t say I’m sold on their naming conventions) the last track is an excellent example of this where the track starts with the kind of synths that might play as the camera rotates around a family hatchback on a car advert before building into a catchy, sing along heavy rock song. It teases in some different guitar lines, including one brilliant moment of unrestrained anger, before returning to those synths in a deliberately disjointed and unsettled ending. That this all fits together as a coherent whole is testament to that extra bit of spice that a band needs to go from make merely good, to interesting music and it is what makes Dohny Jep worth your time.
All four tracks have something to offer and perhaps the other element worthy of further note is the guitars which for 90% of a song will sound much as you would expect in an alternative rock band but then use that other 10% fascinatingly such as on ‘Looking in’ which sees little flashes of both much more melodic guitar but also some mini breaks that feel much more akin to classic rock. These moments, whilst brief, are a fantastic way of engaging the listener whilst not diluting the core of what the music is meant to be. The contrast serves to reinforce the rest of the music and is very well executed.
Perhaps the best moment on the EP comes on ‘Smile’ a song that starts slowly and restrained, gradually upping the ante until it finally boils over into a moment of power and head-nodding frustration. This moment, like the rest of ’Smile, it might never happen’ is well mixed and executed and shows Dohny Jep off as an excellent alternative rock band that has that little element that you can never quite put your finger on, but nonetheless draws your finger back to the repeat button. I will just have to agree to disagree with some of their naming conventions.
Written by Jimmy Rock