Dowsing – ‘I Don’t Even Care Anymore’

By Chris Marshman

Some view emo as pantomime punk; music without any real degree of resonance to it and, of course, we might have Messrs Way and Wentz to thank for that. For some though, emo wasn’t (or indeed, isn’t) more than just a fringe and a Myspace profile, it’s something far more ingrained and far-reaching than that. And while the glory days of the 1990s are over, with pioneers such as Texas Is The Reason finally drawing the curtains on 20 years of touring and emotional turmoil, the torch has been passed on. Where record labels such as Jade Tree or Drive-Thru once dominated the scene, it’s time for smaller, more nuanced labels and artists to wear their emotional scars with pride and make their own mark on a genre that might have lay dormant, but was certainly never dead.

One band who are whole heartedly embracing all things emotional are Chicago’s Dowsing, who, after several EPs, splits and such like, have released their second full length ‘I Don’t Care Anymore’ – a brilliantly composed and well put-together record that’s equal parts nostalgia trip and contemporary catharsis.

Featuring ten songs in just over 25 minutes might well beg questions of a rushed or indeed half-arsed attempt at an album, but that certainly isn’t the case here. What Dowsing have done with ‘I Don’t Care Anymore’ is combine the elements of classic emo outfits such as Mineral or Hey Mercedes with the more poppier elements exhibited by contemporaries such as Tigers Jaw. This irresistible amalgam of candour and pop hooks balance each other out perfectly, and slower numbers like ‘Everything Works Out’ slide in perfectly besides higher tempo and more upbeat tracks such as the titular ‘I Don’t Care Anymore’ with effortless aplomb, all the while proving that current emo never has been, nor ever will be, a parody of its former self.

One aspect of the band which sets them apart from their contemporaries, is the inclusion of Delia Hornik on keys and backing vocals. In a scene dominated by jaded boys with beards, her vocal duties provide a welcome duality to Dowsing’s music and is perhaps best seen on album closer ‘Nothing To Give’, proving once and for all that emo is more about the shared experiences than it is how many girls have done you wrong, and though failed romances are still a big part of Dowsing’s charm, it’s just nice to know that it isn’t their one defining facet.

Knowing that there are still bands out there harbouring the same sentiments the bands of yesteryear did should inspire a huge degree of confidence in those who miss guitars being jangly and lyrics serious as much as it should silence those who thought emo was a flash in the pan. No longer do we have to scour the internet in search of bands whose hearts are still on their sleeves and not in their wallets, and we have bands like Dowsing and Joie De Vivre to thank for that – as well as labels like Count Your Lucky Stars. ‘I Don’t Even Care Anymore’ is a fantastic listen, and one that should give Dowsing a massive push in the right direction.

DAVE BEECH

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