By Devon Hannan, Features Editor
Key Tracks: “We’re All Gonna Die,” “For No Good Reason”
Nobody is quite sure how and why Dawes has experienced the success that they have, because surely, there are far more talented folk bands out there that don’t get half of the credit. Many people can’t get over Taylor Goldsmith’s voice or southern rock instrumentals. All things considered, We’re All Gonna Die is quite possibly, the most interesting album from the most boring band of all time.
The single thing that this album did differently is that it gave the band a chance to evolve. Much like Blitzen Trapper, Dawes introduces a few synths, giving We’re All Gonna Die a poppy undertone without getting rid of their signature twangy, country rock sound. Unfortunately, these additives tend to overcomplicate simple concepts found in the album’s mundane songwriting, making We’re All Gonna Die hard to sit through and downright cringeworthy.
While Dawes has never really been a band known for intricate or hard-hitting work, they are trying so hard to make their all too familiar dad-rock essence stand out with unnecessary bells and whistles. Within this process, every ounce of honesty is lost (there’s a reason why nobody likes Blitzen Trapper anymore, folks).
One thing that this album should be applauded for is that every song sounds different than the last. Tracks differentiate through these additive instrumentals and while they aren’t always applied tastefully, they give the album a wide spectrum of sound. The violins and airy keys in “We’re All Gonna Die,” however, tend to take on a pleasant aura, clearly taking influences from artists such as Andrew Bird.
All in all, We’re All Gonna Die is a compilation of easily forgettable tracks; not because they are uninteresting, but because themes are so easy to lose in between the album’s inconsistencies. Unfortunately, Dawes is always going to the band that stands in between you and the folk band you actually want to see at festivals. Who knows, maybe this album will make Dawes less of a snooze-fest to see live (probably not).