Thrill Jockey

Dommengang - No Keys (Orange Vinyl)

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On No Keys, Dommengang maintain the classic rock aesthetics and abandon of previous releases with a darker edge colored by personal losses. For guitarist Dan “Sig” Wilson, bassist Brian Markham, and drummer Adam Bulgasem, making music together became a therapeutic communion. No Keys captures the energy of that release through dynamic blues-inflected rock while their lyrics grapple with anxieties both personal and global.

No Keys was recorded with guitarist and engineer Tim Green (Joanna Newsom, Howlin’ Rain, Sleepy Sun, Fresh and Onlys, Golden Void) who also contributed guitar to track “Blues Rot.”. The album’s emotional layers are mirrored in its robust production. Dommengang recorded live with minimal overdubs, preferring to experiment further with effects and instrumentation in the mixing stages in order to maintain the record’s spontaneous force. Skittering reverb and echoes lends Sig’s guitar solos a cosmic quality, while rippling distortion add depth and weight to Markham and Bulgasem’s hypnotic grooves. Guest vocals from Camilla Saufly-Mitchell (Golden Void) on “Jerusalem Cricket” add a perfect counterpoint to Markham’s cries of “No keys,” while Adam Parks of Timber Rattle added buzzing organ overtones to album closer “Happy Death (Her Blues II)”.

Dommengang’s No Keys harnesses music’s primeval power to provide respite and release. Moving fluidly from muscular riffing to scorched-earth dirge to sweeping ballads, the album is a potent soundtrack to a personal journey of healing - or to your next road trip.