Release Date: Jan 26, 2018
Record label: Thrill Jockey
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Hard Rock, Space Rock
With 2015's Everybody Boogie, Brooklyn power trio Dommengang picked up the driving rock gauntlet thrown down by contemporaries such as Endless Boogie, White Hills, Earthless, and more. Every track was a jam wrapped in sludgy, post-psych blues grooves. In the interim between it and 2018's Love Jail, the trio relocated to Los Angeles; the geographical change deeply influenced their sound.
The heavy-rock trio Dommengang hail from a little bit of everywhere. Guitarist Dan “Sig” Wilson has been gigging around the Pacific Northwest psych scene for years now, occasionally sitting in with Castanets and Scout Niblett, among others. With roots in Oregon and Alaska, drummer Adam Bulgasem and bassist Brian Markham settled over in Brooklyn, roughly 3000 miles away from their bandmate.
Photo by Amanda Leigh Smith Dommengang resurrects the chug and vamp of 1970s-style hard rock, evoking the riff-driven boogies of ZZ Top, Deep Purple, Blue Cheer and Golden Earring, alongside the expansive psych-rock-cowboy drones of Neil Young. A classic power trio — guitarist/singer Sig Wilson, bassist Brian Markham and drummer Adam Bulgesem — the band builds fervid heat into its grooves with maniacally tight interactions between the three players. The hard, fast tracks run like freight trains, while the slower ones drip like warm honey.
Does the roadtrip still mean anything? Maybe its commercialisation and fetishisation have exhausted the very idea, made the roadtrip a cliche rather than a means for personal growth or understanding the world. But Dommengang’s ‘Lovely Place’ - the second track on this, their second album - says different. On this track, a psych-blues juggernaut with strong echoes of swaggering Dead Meadow, bassist Brian Markham sings of a breezy, sunny journey down the highway, but then the “preacher on the radio” starts “stirring up the anger”.