The breakdown of environments is a huge issue today, and this is the setting of punk rock powerhouse Dissociates‘ debut album A Capital Idea, shown by the record’s eye-catching image of a radiation mask. The album builds on the success of a long line of incredibly well-received EPs, featuring several tracks from their most recent EP After Hours at the Violet Club, put side-by-side with brand new content that expands on their punk-rock roots into a style that knows no bounds.
These guys waste no time in getting to their energetic, spirited selves on opening track ‘Embers’. The song quickly builds with a memorable bassline that fuses brilliantly with the electric guitar line, and a beat that’s damn near impossible to resist. It’s a high-energy track with both riffs and lyrics to sink your teeth into; this combined with the complexity of the concept alone prove that this will be far more than a by-the-numbers rock record.
Following this is ‘Ionise Islington’, which shows the album as a love letter to London and a plea to prevent its destruction. This track manages to find that sweet spot between catchy and complicated; subtly topical without directly referencing today’s political issues, meaning a song like this will probably be applicable many years down the line. Combine this with a clever little allusion to their punk forefathers with the line “The driver’s pretty vacant, he don’t care”, and you’ve got yourself the recipe for a thoroughly enjoyable track. This old-school punk sound can be seen in ‘Useless Wooden Toys’; the track was released this week as a single, and it’s not difficult to see why this was chosen. The raw vocals of singer Dan Stevens are put front and centre on this one, giving a platform to some of the album’s most thoughtful, and almost poetic, lyrics.
Another standout song is the slower and more morose-sounding ‘Gulf of Mexico’. This track’s opening instrumental, complete with a beautiful piano addition, is a masterclass in building your listener’s expectations; there’s no way you can listen to this and not be a little tense, wondering what’s to come. As soon as this dramatic intro cuts out, you’re greeted with the guitarists rocking at breakneck speed and a riff worthy of many repeated plays on your CD player.
The record ends on a decided high with ‘Radio Galway’, a track that uses enough changes of pace and tune to really keep you on your toes; this final song, just like the band, always wants to surprise you with something unique and unexpected. And that’s just what A Capital Idea does.
A Capital Idea by Dissociates is released on 10th November via Safety Second Records.