Dorothy – 28 Days In The Valley (Album Review)

Dorothy – 28 Days In The Valley (Album Review)

They have been heard in commercials, films, and been likened to everyone from Black Sabbath to The White Stripes, but one thing is undeniable: the powerhouse grit behind Dorothy Martin’s astoundingly raw vocals is an impressive rarity in today’s musical world. That said, Dorothy and her boys – collectively known as Dorothy the band –  are ready to raise hell once again with the upcoming 28 Days In The Valley, which arrives on Friday, March 16, 2018, thanks to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.

Dorothy Martin was born in Budapest, Hungary, but raised in San Diego, California, where she would go on to form the Blues Rock band named for herself in 2014. After the release of the band’s first EP, Dorothy, they would go on to release their debut album, Rockisdead, in 2016, amidst quite the hype. Highly-touted by everyone from Rolling Stone to L.A. Weekly, the band would blast off into an impressive career that has seen them sharing stages with the likes of Halestorm and Lita Ford, performing at SXSW, and having musicians such as Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello as a fan.

Now with an already impressive career stacked in their favor, the band – Vocalist Martin, Guitarists Nick Maybury and Leroy Wulfmeier, Bassist Eliot Lorango, and Drummer Jason Ganberg – are set to put any fears of a sophomore curse to rest with their second full-length release, 28 Days In The Valley. The (lucky ducky) thirteen-song collection was produced by Linda Perry (Gwen Stefani, P!nk), of 4 Non Blondes fame, who has a truly eclectic resume when it comes to studio work.

28 Days In The Valley kicks off with first single “Flawless,” where a 1970’s Classic Rock feel permeates this anthemic kiss-off to a former lover that never treated Miss Dorothy right. There is a particular sense of, say, The Doors embedded in tracks like “Who Do You Love,” while there is valiant, bluesy grit at the core of others, like “Pretty When You’re High.” In fact, “Mountain” takes that Blues Rock feel and begins to border on an almost earthy, Gospel-like solemnity. Whatever the case, it all ties together beautifully in tracks like “Freedom,” a delicious combination of all of the above.

“White Butterfly” goes for a bluesy swoon, searching for pride with Dorothy’s soaring vocals, while titular track “28 Days In The Valley” is actually more of an interlude with a dirty, old-school Country feel, like the cinematic score to a modern Western. It segues the band into the ballsy rocker “On My Knees,” which, like much of the record, sees Miss Martin dishing out sheer vocal sass.

The lackadaisical grit of moody rocker “Black Tar & Nicotine” sees a reflective Martin acknowledging that her vices hold the power to kill her dreams; this is an exploration of the Heaven and Hell of Rock-n-Roll, folks. Meanwhile, there is a luscious sensuality embedded in “Philadelphia,” a song of not-so-brotherly love. Not ones to stray too far from the course, Dorothy return to their jamming, retro feel on “Ain’t Our Time To Die,” where Martin once again goes balls-out with her vocal theatrics.

A truly rockin’, full-throttle jamboree, “We Are Staars,” feels like a celebrity jam session of epic proportions. This flows flawlessly into the album’s grand finale, where Dorothy lay it all on the line for the nostalgia-fest of “We Need Love,” an apropos and timely social commentary on our fully-modern, hate-filled world. This resonating commentary closes out an impressive collection that already feels like an old classic. In fact, on 28 Days In The Valley, Dorothy prove that they know what it means to Rock without the aid of modern studio technology; weaving beautiful artistry that they are certain to easily perform in the live, concert setting. Whatever the case, just put a microphone in front of Martin and watch her wail!

If you know Dorothy as the wicked vocal temptress who came to “Raise Hell,” you may be a little surprised to hear the deliciously classic sounds of 28 Days In The Valley, or perhaps not. The groundwork for the band’s deliciously classic, Blues Rock sound is all there in their earlier tracks, but this time, they embrace yesteryear with a fervor that is sincere and truly refreshing. In fact, the album is a collection that glances backward lovingly to a time when Rock-n-Roll had soul and was not something that could only ever be recreated inside a studio setting; this is raw, unadulterated grit that crosses genres and anchors itself in everything classic and Rock-n-Roll. For those with soul in their hearts and a need for bluesy grit, Dorothy absolutely has you covered! For these reasons, CrypticRock give Dorothy’s 28 Days In The Valley 4 of 5 stars.

Tour Dates:
Mar 5 The Record Bar – Kansas City, MO
Mar 6 Blueberry Hill – University City, MO
Mar 8 The Parish – Austin, TX
Mar 9 House of Blues – Cambridge Room – Dallas, TX
Mar 10 White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX

Purchase 28 Days In The Valley:

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Jeannie Blue
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Jeannie likes to joke that she is little, yellow, blue, and different. She seemingly popped out of her mother's womb with a pen in her hand and has been writing ever since. Many moons ago - in what feels like a separate lifetime - Jean was co-editor of an online music magazine that afforded her great opportunities to interview and photograph some of her favorite bands/musicians: Tommy Lee, Good Charlotte, Warrant, Bring Me The Horizon, My Chemical Romance, Sevendust, New Found Glory, Deftones, Poison, VH-1 "Band On the Run" Flickerstick, an endless list of unsigned locals, and so many others. These days, she can usually be found hiking aimlessly through the woods in her favorite Technicolor sneakers with a Nikon in hand and her rescue dog, Molly, who is a bit hare-brained.

  • Fatima
    Posted at 01:28h, 22 March Reply

    This album is a disappointment because it’s overly produced and their sound wasn’t given the opportunity to evolve – the producer wiped it out by over mixing. Martin’s voice was muddled and lost. And there isn’t so much as a Doors influence, more of a blatant ripping off of the sound of Jefferson Airplane/Grace Slick. This band is better than this and they shouldn’t let the label ruin what makes them different/amazing. Hoping when they go on tour that Martin’s vocals and the band’s talent are showcased and not whatever the hell effects the producer thinks Dorothy needed for no reason. Their next producer needs t be someone who could appreciate Dorothy’s rockin roots instead of turning them into a retro hipster gimmick.

  • D
    Posted at 15:16h, 13 April Reply

    Sadly, I do agree with Fatima. While this album has many outstanding tracks–my personal favourites including “Freedom’ and ‘Who Do You Love’–Linda Perry should have started with a raw base, like something she did with Courtney Love/Hole’s “Nobody’s Daughter”. Their sound may have intentionally been mixed heavily, to appeal to the mainstream audience that watches TV shows which DOROTHY’s songs are quite often featured in. But overall I’d give this album a solid 6 or 6.5 to be generous.

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