Doorway 27

The Rescue Effect (Roots Music)

It's been almost four years since Doorway 27 dropped its last album, Doorway 27, a slick mix of Alien Ant Farm, Incubus, and Sublime. The difference is noticeable. On its fourth album, The Rescue Effect, Doorway 27 delves into a softer and more commercially viable sound. Along the way, the band seems to have traded some of its edgier qualities for accessibility.

The album kicks off with "Blend," churning out a dense layer of guitar crunch à la Incubus. Bryan Wohlust's vocals glide somewhere between Sublime's Bradley Nowell and Faith No More-era Mike Patton. The album then progresses through the elements of alterna-rock left over from its ill-fated predecessor, grunge — funky hooks, multilayered guitars, and glossy production. But there's still a good mix of styles here. "Civillionaire," for instance, has a rockin', almost swing feel that takes the listener on a roller coaster of crescendos. "Punktuation" sees the band in full-on Sublime mode with reggae breakdowns and chat-style MCing laced heavily along the grooves. This style also dominates the light and airy remake of their own composition, "10 Speed," replete with turntable scratches and dance-hall stylings. Doorway 27 wears its influences clearly on its shoulders. But whether that makes the band derivative is beside the point. What's important is the execution — how much The Rescue Effect will appeal to its target audience. And on that score, Doorway 27 handles itself sublimely.

 
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