It’s becoming increasingly rarer for musicians to stay with a singular act throughout the length of their career as a performer. Why this is slowly becoming the norm is an entirely different topic of its own volition, but it can usually boil down to a few key aspects. One, people clash and have different views – this is extremely apparent for those who have ever lived in extremely close proximity with someone for a long period of time. Two, the lifestyle has taken its toll on someone and they want to settle down, get a sustained job and be with their family. Lastly, people want to craft something that is wholly unique to them. After all, musicians want to make music that sounds good to not only others, but foremost to themselves. Whatever the case may be, we all want to be the story teller of our adventure in life and that leads us to explore things at one time, may have seemed impossible. This is where West Texas emo/pop-punk outfit Dozer TX comes into play as front-man Kevin Cale (formerly of Handguns) embarked on his own path of music creativity and as the band gears up the release their new EP, Centerpiece.
At its core, Centerpieces’ sound straddles the realm of pop punk with an emo punch; that is, musically it’s built on the fluid, upbeat aggressive sound that modern day pop punk has carved out for itself while relying on emo-tinged lyricism and vocal stylings to offer something ever-so-slightly different. This gives the sound that aggressive edge that a large swathe of the genre has been crafting over the past years. To get a true grasp on the underlying sound, it won’t take long as the EP’s opener, “Smoke Screen”, is littered with toe-tapping drumming, bouncy riffs and a raw vocal approach that sees the emotion spill out of the delivery. “Fixated” continues down this path in a relatively same manner, but the title track, “Centerpiece”, is where Dozer TX show what they are truly capable of from an all-around perspective. To start, they let the music be the true driving force with as the guitars have a slight tinge of grunge and the drumming blends beautifully into the riffs, creating a very cohesive sound. This continues throughout the track under even-keeled, perfectly fitting vocals that see the dual vocalist aspect of the band shine brightest as screams are subtlety used on the chorus, wrapping up with brief key-strokes on a piano. “Leech” and “Breathe Deep” are more of a return to form to the more upbeat, bouncy feeling that pop punk brings forward and the closer, “Keep You For Myself” wraps everything up in an acoustic manner.
Fixated, a song by Dozer TX on Spotify
When Dozer TX truly hit their stride on Centerpiece, the result is a rather fun and worthwhile listen that grabs listeners and engages them, showcased by their lead single, “Fixated” and even more so on the title track. The downside comes from the band not doing that enough and letting their own sound shine through – which is a tough thing to do when a release has limited tracks and a short runtime. Even still, Centerpiece is a pleasurable listen, for those who want a bit of aggression with an emo-tinge to their pop punk sound and for those who simply cannot consume enough of the genre.