July 19, 2016 DOROTHY – ROCKISDEAD (Album Review)
“Rock is Dead!” has been a statement thrown around in the music industry for years now. Many have their opinions on the topic, however, in the case of Los Angeles, California’s DOROTHY, their debut album, titled ROCKISDEAD, is irony at its best. Come together back in 2013 when Producer/Guitarist Mark Jackson and his production partner Ian Scott were completely blown away by Dorothy Martin’s voice, the band DOROTHY soon took form. Bringing on Bassist Gregg Cash, Guitarist DJ Black, and Drummer Zac Morris, the collective dropped a self-titled EP Halloween week of 2014. Quickly gaining more attention, by 2015, DOROTHY was signed on with Roc Nation Records and now, as of June 24, 2016, ROCKISDEAD is here. Anchored by a slew of singles as promos for Pandora, HBO shows, Levi’s, Acura, Orange Is the New Black, and Now You See Me 2 (2016), the album has broken the US Billboard 200, leaving Rock-n-Roll fans extremely curious.
Beginning with the suggestive “Kiss It,” immediately listeners are given a Rock and Blues experience where Martin’s vocals are strong, sexy, and full of feeling. Adding to it all, Black’s Blues guitar solo sets the mood before fading into a steady rhythm alongside Cash and Morris on percussion. The song “Dark Nights” follows next with a soulful vocal performance by Martin and it is reminiscent of the old school Black Sabbath. Then, “Raise Hell,” one of the album’s promo singles, is a full-on, steady, Rock assault from Cash, Black, and Morris while Martin’s vocals seem to embrace it all as she sings effortless. It is on this song there is a slight tremble in her voice, which adds some vulnerability and thus makes her inflection that much more inviting.
Another promotional single, “Wicked Ones” has true Blues Rock flair where Martin sounds rich and powerful as background chants add depth. Some may recognize the tune from a regularly run Gatorade commercial, and it is catchy as hell while dueling guitars, along with tight bass presence, provide a strong backbeat. Featured on Syfy series Wynonna Earp, “Gun in My Hand” is the Country Rock tingling tune and Martin truly shines unleashes heavy emotion. Complemented by a slide guitar, acoustic guitar, as well as harmonica, the listener can dig deep into the soul of Martin; without over-produced vocals, it is raw and simple.
Showing their softer side, “Medicine Man” features some very melodic singing by Martin as she conveys a pain in her voice that is sincere and from the heart. As Cash, Black, and Morris add a steady backdrop to the song, it provides for the listener to follow the lyrics closely as they foreshadow on the chemical dependency many struggle with. Then, channeling more R&B styling, “Woman” and “Whiskey Fever” come on as extremely provocative Rock songs that one could imagine Janis Joplin belting out. Although “Woman” is a slower-paced track, it provides a sensual vocal performance with a hint of sadness, but also a sense of independence. In contrast, “Whisky Fever” is an upbeat song that gets progressively heavier as it moves along.
Tucked at the back-end of the record is the band’s first single, “After Midnight,” which provides an upbeat tempo driven by a steady percussion and guitar performance as Martin holds nothing back, laying it all on the line for dirty Rock-n-Roll. Thereafter comes the heaviest and most fierce song on the album, lyrically as well as musically, and it is “Missile.” A song some may have heard on the trailer for the Supergirl series, it is straight-up, in-your-face Rock-n-Roll, which Martin describes her love as a said missile. Bringing the words to life with an attitude, it is sure to be a favorite to anyone who turns on the record. This leads into the stripped down closing, which is a Blues ballad featuring only Black and Martin. With a pleading and beauty that is conveyed through out the song, it will sweep the listener away on a high note and remind them of the power of Rock-n-Roll.
DOROTHY may just be what the Rock doctor ordered. The band has proven itself in its short career to already have created some buzz, and with good reason. ROCKISDEAD provides the listener with a full-on, true Rock and Blues musical experience. Driven by Martin’s ability to conquer and bring to life vocals that are her own, but are comparable to Janis Joplin or Patti Smith, this album will make people feel something. Rock-n-Roll has missed that element of the rebellion, danger, and sensuality for quite some time, and DOROTHY has brought that back to the forefront. So, whoever said Rock was dead, was lying. CrytpicRock gives this album 5 out of 5 stars.