I love a bit of Ramonescore pop punk. There are so many great bands in mainland Europe playing the genre. For a long time I've loved bands such as The Apers, The Priceduifkes, 20belows and Maladroit, among many others. Recently I came across a new favourite, from Austria, a four piece band by the name of Dorkatron. Recently the band released a brand new EP titled The Extra Mile on the always awesome Monster Zero Records. I fell in love with this EP immediately. Here's why.
The first song on this six track EP is named Is She Really Going Out Tonight. This song kind of took me slightly by surprise when I first heard it as I was expecting a blisteringly fast pop punk song. Instead Dorkatron play a mid-tempo punchy pop song that will have you singing along fast. It also doesn't take long for some wonderfully layered harmonies to come into play. This is one of those "so simple it's brilliant" kind of songs. This is how I love my pop punk! This is followed up by the brilliant Chemical Reaction. Chemical Reaction put a huge smile on my face immediately with its gang vocaled "goo-goo-ca-choo" (I think that's what they're saying). It's different and it's so much fun. As you would expect, and I'll say this for every song on The Extra Mile, it's so simple it's brilliant. It will burrow its way into the memory section of your brain and spend a considerable amount of time residing in there. Lunch Money switches sound slightly with more of a modern take on the pop punk genre. Think The Lillingtons or Teenage Bottlerocket and you'll know the sound I mean. The simplicity remains though and in no time at all you'll be singing along to this song about having your lunch money stolen at school. I probably should have mentioned earlier that Dorkatron sing songs about being "dorks" and the trials and tribulations that come with that.
The fourth song L.U.I.S.E. brilliantly mixes old school Ramones pop punk with the more modern Copyrights sound. It starts out with another big ol' sing-along that hooks you into the song immediately. Dorkatron don't worry about having a proper introduction. They just launch straight into the song. Again, this is how I love my pop punk. No thrills, just giving it the full beans from the get go. At one point in the song there is a short breakdown with some "na na na na" chants before we are treated to an exceptional three part harmony section to finish the song. Three part harmonies, oh I love this! The penultimate track, Books Not Bombs, is a short and sweet banger. It's kind of silly but also has a great, positive political message. The simple line that makes me smile every single time is "start reading books, don't drop bombs." It's so bloody simple! Perhaps someone should play this song to the world leaders and we might start fixing this ridiculous planet that we live on. Is Dorkatron about to save the world? The tempo is slowed on the final song, the EP's title track The Extra Mile. The track feels more subdued and retrospective than the rest of the EP and shows another great side of Dorkatron. Of course it's still a bit tongue-in-cheek as it's about staying home and studying to make sure you do well in school rather than going out and having fun with your friends.
This EP is unbelievably good and probably my favourite pop punk release I've heard in a long time. On my very first listen I knew that this would be an EP for me. It's that fun, fast, simple, catchy pop punk that never fails to put a smile on my face. Monster Zero have another gem on their hands here. Seriously The Extra Mile is just superb. Dorkatron is the coolest band around.
Stream and download The Extra Mile here: https://dorkatron.bandcamp.com/album/the-extra-mile-ep
Like Dorkatron here: https://www.facebook.com/dorkatron.school
This review was written by Colin Clark.