Dub Thompson, “Dograces”

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 03.20.14 in Listen to This

In a January interview with the Santa Barbara Independent, Evan Laffer, one half of Dub Thompson, described the group’s early aesthetic as follows: “For most of high school, we were really into Can and The Zombies. Liking Can was our excuse to not record anything and just jam and jam and jam.” They eventually figured out ways to rein in those tendencies, but you can still hear some of the krautrock godfather’s glazed-over motorik in “Dograces,” the first single from Dub Thompson’s excellent forthcoming 9 Songs. For much of the song, a seasick bassline walks the same winding path, ending up where it started at the end of each measure and then dutifully walking it all over again. That deliberate monotony contributes to the song’s palpable sense of anxiety and claustrophobia. Dollar-store synths crash down the center, frontman Matt Pulos delivers lyrics with a kind of Gibby Hayes mania, but the bassline chugs on. It’s a doomy, surreal number, hypnotic and terrifying all at once.