Sometimes you want an album to be great purely because of its title. I mean if a band can title an album as brilliantly as Dorkmanteau then they must be able to write some brilliant songs, right? I was about to find out as Dorkmanteau is the brand new EP from Canadian three piece Sixteen Scandals.
The opening track on the five song EP is named Traffuck. There's a lot of pressure on this track as I've never heard a single note from the band and if I don't like this then I might scrap doing this whole review. Obviously that didn't happen, you know that because you're reading this review. Traffuck did take me a bit by surprise though, I was expecting more of a punk sound but this definitely has more of an alternative indie rock sound. It's a humorous song that laments people who walk, what you deem to be, too slowly in front of you. We've all been there and it is really annoying. Thank goodness somebody has finally written a song about it.
Next up is Diffriends. I loved this song immediately. Switching to more of a slow tempo pop punk sound, Diffriends is about seeing your friend fall into a bad group of friends who appear to be fake. Vocalist Zazoo Pittz's voice sounds on top form here - it's a dirty pop style that fits perfectly with the simple guitar and drum structure of the song. Less is more in a brilliant way here. Superb. Flawsophy is the name of the third track. It's a slightly harder hitting track with more venom in Pittz's vocal and the rest of the band throwing in backing vocals to give the song a fuller sound as well. Flawsophy is about questioning people's philosophies and trying to compromise on differences.
The penultimate track is called Tweetheart. On my first listen of this song I couldn't help but smile the entire way through. This also happened on the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth (you get the point) times. It's just the sweetest song. Tweethearts is about being in love with someone who is a bit of dork but loving them anyway. It's a slow paced track where Pittz voice does a fantastic job of carrying the melody whilst the music simply serves as a pleasant backing track. The entire song is jam packed with the sweetest lyrics. Seriously if you don't smile away blissfully listening to this song then you might be slightly dead inside. Last up is Adolessons. After the slowness of Tweethearts, Adolessons starts with a crash. The crash of drummer Dave Skrtich's cymbals to be precise. This is a faster paced track similar to Flawsophy. You might have guessed from its title that Adolessons is about the lesson you learn as a youth. This is a perfect song to finish off the EP, there is a great feel of positivity about the song and the advice given in the song makes me think "yeah Sixteen Scandals, you are right, excellent advice!" At 31 years old, I'm not even a youth. I wish I had this song fifteen years ago!
There are a lot of things I really loved on Dorkmanteau. Firstly the song titles are genius. All of them, if you haven't already noticed are portmanteaus. I like little geeky things like that. Musically, which I suppose is the most important thing, it's a solid record. To be honest I did enjoy opener Traffuck but it is a little shaky compared to the following four song - all of which are ace. Picking EPs based on witty titles is a solid way of choosing music to listen to!
Stream and download Dorkmanteau here: https://sixteenscandals.bandcamp.com/album/dorkmanteau
Like Sixteen Scandals here: https://www.facebook.com/sixteenscandals
This review was written by Colin Clark.