Dowsing – ‘Okay’ Review

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

A stroke of bitter tasting honesty rides through Dowsing‘s first lines, “Punk is dead, and all of your friends will be too.” It’s a bold assumption to make, a bit offsetting to hear, but, it makes you think. It calls to you to try and argue back with Dowsing’s statement, because if you are like me, you have been trying to make sure that punk is not dead, but your friends already are. The entire song “Wasted On Hate” is a clever opener, and it only opens the door to a new ’emopunk’ album I have heard before, but I don’t think Dowsing care. OKAY is more than just a record spinning out ten songs, it’s a conversation piece and a mentality. 

Clocking in at just under a half hour, OKAY utilizes short songs with beat bashing pop structures and half-strained half-sung vocal styles. It’s familiar to people who remember Pentimento and Real Friends toured together. “Grunge For Life” is structured almost aptly like what I think Dowsing is trying to do here, just write music and not be so tied into the bullshit that comes with it. Immediately after this gang vocal two step drum mash up, “Dissolve” dispel the feelings of old with the lyrics, “because the back then I was alone and scared of what the future had in store.” The song is one big rally for keeping your head up and using it for different things than being sad all the time. With this new found attitude, the music rightfully and almost instantaneously changed as well. The music now just feels a bit more clunky in the sense that plenty of other bands have done this. 

I’m not trying to write Dowsing off. What I think is brilliant about OKAY IS the attitude change. This record is one that just feels good to listen to. It’s fun as fuck to sing along with and hear Dowsing poke fun at themselves and sing their lungs out doing it. “Finally Ghost” is basically the band opening up about how they felt when they brought on the hiatus, “no one likes us anymore… we weren’t asking for your approval, so don’t bother coming to the show tonight, we wrote ourselves off long before you had a chance to arrive.” Maybe it’s their current mindset. Maybe it’s all pointed at me and that my thoughts are not very particular on how an album will sell, how a show will go or even how people show feel about a certain record. 

There are a lot of certainties that Dowsing toy with across OKAY. There are a lot of great familiarities that ring out throughout every song, especially the closing song, “Red Legs Kicking.” It’s the most ambitious offering I have heard from the band. It’s as honest as looking in the mirror and realizing you still have old person inside of you. It’s hollowed out in your eyes, it’s the path that brought Dowsing here. But throughout every drum fill, chord progression and voice break, it’s just Dowsing being Dowsing. I’m okay with it, they are okay with it, and OKAY is it. Punk’s not dead and neither is Dowsing. 

Score: 7/10