- MRL 185
Dumb are good at plenty of things, but relaxing isn’t one of them. The Vancouver four-piece write feverish tunes at a frantic pace, delivering catchy post-punk songs in two-minute blasts of wiry riffs and indignant social critiques. Less than a year since they signed to Mint Records for 2018’s Seeing Green, they’re already back with a new full-length, Club Nites—this time with even more neuroticism and indignation! As the title indicates, Club Nites is a collection of narratives drawn from the nightlife ecosystem. Attempting to break from the typical romanticized version of “the club” as seen on TV, the album instead depicts a bleak social setting, where one zooms in on seemingly petty details in order to reveal the cracks that Hollywood forgot to fill. Cynical but never self-serious, these songs offer gritty insights about being unable to meet the lofty expectations of your peers (“Beef Hits”), showing disregard towards your closest friends (“My Condolences”) and feeling overstimulated in a meme-fueled cultural economy (“Content Jungle”). This album has the energy of a raw nerve: the songs are dry and in-your-face, with crisp production that leaves every squeal of feedback and hollered refrain exposed. Dumb wrote and self-produced it in their own studio over the course of a few months in early 2019, with mastering from Mikey Young (Total Control). Packing fourteen tracks into a little more than half an hour, the band is unfailingly economical, with no-nonsense song structures that last just long enough to get stuck in the head.