The Doughboys

Crush

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AllMusic Review by

Yow, everybody's getting signed! If Nirvana did anything, they may have opened the gates for a hundred crap grunge-metal bands, but they also opened it for a group such as Canada's Doughboys, whose slew of credible indie LPs have been largely ignored, to ink deals. Now, bing! They're on A&M, Daniel Rey produces their LP, and though chances are most Americans will go right on ignoring them, it sure won't be the band's fault. With some money behind them, Doughboys continue to crank up their roaring, dense, heavily muscled melodic punk, liberally spreading out the buzzing guitar chording (there's a lot more than bar chords going on here!). Best of all, they finally get production that does more than just seize them semi-live. Rey gives such potential blockbuster tracks as "Shine" (co-written by their U.K. pal, Mega City Four leader Wiz, it's the right choice for the single) and "Melt" a dynamic force, shuttling the players' parts in and out of the spotlight and bringing out subtleties without weakening the overall authority and force. This is also their finest vocal performance, especially leader John Kastner's, as if either they really have come on, or someone (Rey?) worked them a lot harder in the studio. The backing vocals in particular are employed to greater effect over the stun guitar blasts and whopper chord changes, and every time those chorus "ahhhhhhs" come in, and Jonathan Cummins and Peter Arsenault join in for a three-voiced assault, they've got you suckered. So why didn't MTV and commercial alternative radio (like, dude) play the living (bleep, ha ha) out of this? This is what a million Nirvanas should have, could have sounded like. And this is a reminder of a time when there were, in fact, a good 60 or 70 bands with this kind of guitar command, impact, guts, and most of all, material and talent. Oh, about a decade, decade and a half prior -- why do you ask?

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