DODGEBALL – ‘Stephanie’

DODGEBALL is a recently formed group from New York, New York. They made their debut earlier in the year with their EP, “Stephanie“. The band features guitarist and vocalist Mike Byrne, guitarist Fritz Ortman, bassist Kristal Ho, and drummer Reggie Bender.

Brining slack rock in a vat of emotions, the band infuses the brittle twang of hearty Americana. “Cig Bowl” quaintly opens the record with a tempered shuffle and deep ruminations from Byrne. An ebb and flow of ease and angst is the centerpiece of the record, often spawning intense moments at times. Midnight by the river, “The Moon Beckons“, Byrne bawls into the night in a Mangum-like delivery, backed by a cascade of stout guitars.

Tendered and intimate, “Sunday” is the most restrained moment of the record. Building off an earthy finger-picked motif, the band wades into clarity and feelings of resolve. The record’s finale, “Veggies” is a gut wrenching climax. A Weezer-esque melody plods alongside with Byrne languishing to get the words out (“my head’s a brick and I look like shit“). Toiling in his demons and anguish, Byrne’s emotional performance manifests into a dark place that we’ve all stumbled upon.

Cereal Pairing: Frosted Mini Wheats