Produced by: Brian Johannsen
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Just a glance at the name of the band and you can’t help but laugh a bit. After all, we all remember calling someone D.O.R.K. at one time or another. I thought about this after I received the band’s self-titled EP and wondered at the marketing genius behind the selection of the band’s name. I also wondered what music I was about to be listening to. The five-man band named D.O.R.K. thinks pretty highly of itself: “’Man, DORK is probably the most amazing band ever!’ exclaimed your mother.” However, we all have learned that thinking highly of one’s own talents doesn’t exactly make you a star. Or haven’t we seen enough egotistical failures on American Idol season after season. As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. D.O.R.K. has every right to toot its own horn.
Bryan Kneobel (vocals/guitar), Schuyler Ankele (vocals/lead guitar), Donovan Welsh (bass), Jimmy “Stix” Blair (drums) and Brain Johannsen (guitar/keyboards/vocals) have been touring all over North America since 2001. Since 2003, D.O.R.K. has been a staple at the Warped Tour, the band earning credit from www.WarpedTour.com as being the hardest working band in the history of the tour. Music Connection Magazine listed D.O.R.K. as one of the "Hot 100 Unsigned Artists of 2005" and three of the band’s songs found their way onto the soundtrack of American Pie: Band Camp. The band consistently sells out shows each time they play in their home town of Denver. The band has opened for such well-known and popular groups as Religion, Social Distortion, Pennywise, Unwritten Law, Bowling for Soup, Goldfinger, Yellowcard, Story of the Year, Lucky Boy's Confusion, and Zebrahead.
From the first track of their self-titled EP to the last, D.O.R.K. delivers with fast-paced rock that makes you want to jump up and dance. Their sound is reminiscent of bands like Bowling for Soup and Good Charlotte. The lyrics are extremely catchy and often times hilarious as they outline situations we all can relate to. The first track, Song Writing for Dumbies, discusses the hardship of trying to make it in the music business: “How to write the perfect rock song / Gotta make ‘em play it over again / Each word just a piece of the hustle / Don’t say it’s over before it began.” Jaime tells the tale of a manipulative girl who always gets her way and the poor guy who ends up with the raw end of the deal. The lyrics of That Special Anyone are absolutely hysterical, perfectly describing the results of a horrific one night stand and all the regrets that come with it. This song in particular is my personal favorite. After listening to it once, you’ll find you’ve memorized it and are able to sing along with it the next time you hear it. And you WILL hear it again…you just can’t help but play it for all of your friends who know exactly what the guy in this story is going through: “She says she’s not a whore / I’ve heard that before / Hoping, praying / It doesn’t hurt when I’m urinating.” The final track of the EP, South, proves that D.O.R.K. knows how to pump things up a bit. The music on this track would be considered more hard rock than alternative and proves that D.O.R.K. can be versatile with their sound.
This self-titled EP is definitely something worth listening to if you can get your hands on it. D.O.R.K. is undoubtedly a band that is on its way to stardom. Check them out at WeAreDork.com or at MySpace.com/dork.