Release Date: Jun 7, 2011
Record label: Warner Bros.
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise when you find out Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott are from Detroit. Between their affinity for dressing in stock car racing gear during live shows, titling their debut EP “Horse Power,” and the fact that they perform under the tongue-in-cheek moniker Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Motor City comes off as the only probable option for the duo songwriters’ home base.
The Detroit-based duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott) is hard to classify. The label calls them “indie-pop.” If you were going to coin one of those annoying, overused and mostly meaningless genre mashups writers like to coin for music outside an easy to draw frame, you might call them indie-alt-digital-folk-garage-rock-pop.
On It’s a Corporate World, Detroit duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. make good on the promises made on 2010’s Horsepower EP with an album of bittersweet, electronic indie pop. Filled with layers of vocal harmonies, downtempo drums, and innocent melodies, the pair’s full-length debut makes for an interesting summer record, tempering that carefree summer feeling with an underlying sadness.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if our existing corporate entities were candy-coated, kind and breezy, like the world Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. created on their first full-length album, It’s A Corporate World? Maybe some of us would have jobs and there wouldn’t be a 9.1 percent unemployment rate if the real world was as harmonious as theirs, but I digress.
With such a strange band name, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. might be playing with fire, at least when it comes to entering-then-ascending the devastatingly whimsical window of internet-interest. But while artists have been burned in the past by the golden shackle of their quirky names (Does someone still love Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin? or do we still say Yeah to Clap Your Hands?), it seems high time now, halfway through 2011, that a band like DEJJ proves the hypothesis that music speaks for itself.
On their debut album, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. create music that would be easy to categorize as indie-pop, except for two things. First, indie-pop is such a catch-all term at this point that it tells you almost nothing about what the music sounds like. Second, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. was signed to ….
Considering how fickle and niche-oriented web-based music discussions have become, it’s hard to fault an act for relying on shtick to gain some attention. But Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. may lay it on too thick. From their wink-and-nudge name and reputation for ….
From the band name to reports that they wear NASCAR jumpsuits onstage to the cheesy portrait cover of their debut, It’s a Corporate World, everything about Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. screams schtick. Everything, that is, except their music. While every other aspect of the band’s persona is ….
Fine, feel-good pop songs from the NASCAR-loving Detroit duo. Si Hawkins 2012 From the clenched pose on the album cover you’d be forgiven for assuming that Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. are another painfully arch synth act, with the requisite sneering fop up top and a keyboard player who looks about as pleased to be there as a former lawyer manning a supermarket checkout.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.It’s a Corporate World( Quite Scientific/ Warner Bros.)[Rating 3.5 stars] An unassuming NASCAR fan giving Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.’s new record It’s a Corporate World a spin would likely experience the same disappointment as a tourist strolling into the American Apparel unusually placed in the center of Nashville’s honky tonk district.