The Dose, issue 11: Rival music

The Chili Bowl | Spence Tait | April 5, 2016

  • Copied

Bass Drum of Death

No, it’s not a heavy metal band. It’s been a while since we even touched on garage rock, and it only makes sense to re-instate such an underrated sub-genre with the best. Bass Drum Of Death are the Black Keys of lo-fi thrash, sporting only two house-shaking dudes behind a drum set and a guitar. Their music is raw to the point of being downright filthy, but many songs still maintain tight structure to keep it digestible and memorable without sacrificing metric tons of off-the-wall energy.

Dylan Stark

This Portland native brings hipster to a whole new level, but in all the best ways. Forever man bun-clad, Stark brings explosive and borderline ecstatic tropical ambience sounds to the EDM arena in ways even Kygo can’t touch. Professing to being a sample obsessor, he claims to take soundbites from everything between children’s playgrounds, video games, cartoons, and more—tying them all in to a stunning, chaotic soundscape that hurls you to an abandon island. With a significant other. And both of you on acid. Riding dolphins. Forever.

Fat White Family

This is finally happening. The Dose is happy to bring to you the most eccentric, disturbing, angry, artistic, inspired, and disturbed societal critics rock has to offer. Fat White Family (phenomenal name) ironically take on the image of everything wrong and messed up with modern society as a form of London-style vilification, touching on sexual fetishes, the mentally ill, domestic abuse, pedophilia, and things hard to even figure out. The frontman likes to gyrate slowly and creepily on stage in tighty-whities (recently sold on Ebay), wantonly clasping a cup of cheap beer and jumping between murmuring and frantic screaming. Despite all reports, their music is absolutely phenomenal, and many are hailing them as a last gasp of unadulterated and true British Rock N’ Roll. After-parties with the Amazing Snakeheads go for 10GBP entrance fees.

Flying Lotus

While many people would know this electro-jazz DJ genius from what has to be Mars itself, you would be shocked how many are still virgins to such musical trips of the mind. For such poor souls, fear not and lament: for your time hath come. Flying Lotus creates instrumental and semi-instrumental works of prodigal sound, weaving bewildering jazz with the trippiest, spaciest synths. As an intro and favorite starting point, listen to “Never Catch Me” with its touch of Kendrick to stay halfway on earth, but make sure to breaststroke through the You’re Dead! album and all its gnostic themes when your third eye chakra is ready.

Elijah Blake

Elijah Blake comes to us through our student ambassador plug from Universal Music (shoutout Jared Fein), and we couldn’t be more stoked to have this coming-up name in our collection. Blake is already a behind-the-curtain hiphop champ, having written songs for Rick Ross and Rihanna, and co-writing Usher’s “Climax”. Now taking the solo path, the prodigal talent still shows. “Blueberry Vapors” is a rich and complex R’n’B song that evokes both Frank Ocean and J. Cole, and is absolutely worth a listen, and worth remembering for the year ahead:

Picture courtesy

The Dose is The Rival’s curated weekly music injection designed by a student abroad to deliver 100 notable contemporary artists in 5 months. Sticking mainly to the unsung heavy-hitters of 2015, The Dose also includes choice names from this year’s festival lineups and those primed to have impact on 2016. Some selections are simply stumbled-upon treasures. Electronica, hip hop, indie, blues revival, garage rock, and sounds harder to define all collide in a project that aims to capture and emulate the turbulence that is the college experience. For suggestions or feedback, email