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.