The band consists of four members, and keeps it's church somewhere in between hard rock and psychedelia. The characteristic sound of the band, which surprisingly often seems to come back to the late sixties and early seventies, due to the timbre of singer Filip Bohyn and steaming guitar licks from Koen Schaballie. On bass we hear Danny Degheldere, while Dave Eeckeloo is stringing the percussion beats together. All seasoned musicians with a penchant for the same music.
Kicking off with 'Desert Song', which immediately accommodates the atmosphere of the album. The band's music has partially lifted in a different direction, by the emphasis of twisting guitar riffs and exotic rhythms. "Desert Song" alternates between tightly different melodies and has a strong interlude, where the tension is built using rhythm and guitar. At first hearing Bohyn seems to have evolved as a lyricist. The lyrics are a sketch of a proven life as a musician and deals with topics such as addiction and withdrawal ("I would give my last crumble, for a cocaine shiver").
This line is drawn to 'Plastic Girl', a cynical sneer to the fashion world include ("Skinny Bones on the catwalk"), but simultaneously insatiable desire suggests ("Glamour-glimmer-beauty sinner, giving us platonic love") . Moreover, "Plastic Girl" is an incredible pain song, with a firm structure and a powerful chorus. The guitar solo of Schaballie reminds us of what many contemporary rock bands have forgotten about the genre. Where the Foo Fighers failed - and now opt for flat pop rock - DOLLARQUEEN picks up the slack with pure and unadulterated rock songs.
The band also ventures further into a slow rock ballad ("Mother"), in which Bohyn places a mother figure central in emotionally elaborate lyrics. Yet he succeeds to put a lot dynamics and strength in his vocals to explain with lively works where he's almost like a hurt soul perfectly integrated. Furthermore we can flavor the sober melody on guitar - especially around the second minute - in which the motif quickly settles in our mind. There is also a powerfully beautiful ending point. After 'Mother' follows a brief interlude where Bohyn takes the lion's share of. The absence of any framework, it all just a bit too light (with an abrupt stop), though the rhythmic vocal pieces performed quite well.
DOLLARQUEEN is at its best especially in the slightly vaster anthems where the emphasis lies on strength and enthusiasm. 'World on Fire' , is the classic example of this. Bohyn takes the disadvantaged sections of society on the bead to subsequently release an infernal revolution ("I set the world on fire!"). Not immediately, as the motley crew of occupy Wall Street; this makes us think more reminiscent of occupy Liquor Store. The routine work on the guitar once again done with great verve by Koen Schaballie: the structure of the song, the subtle effects in the verses and a lively guitar solo. 'World on Fire' is hard rock with a strong chorus and doesn't need to be more than that.
The second part of 'Circus' needs by no means be outdone on a number of surprises it brings with it. 'Queen of the Night' seems to have wonderful build-up almost plucked away from an album by The Doors, but grows into the strongest song of the album. Especially the feeling of darkness that seems to cover the melody is beautifully interwoven. Bohyn can't hide the turbulent feelings for his queen, ("Why don't you give me 4 gallons of gasoline / And I will burn for you like a forest fire). The seven-minute track is built up gradually to a wide spun guitar solo. This is also the case with the spicy '400.000 People' with a nice twist in the chorus and a solid piece of power rock. 'Is This Goodbye' is to conclude a song that paints a sense of loss, with controlled outbursts weaving an end to an all in all convincing album.
'CIRCUS' shows that something is moving in the midst of commercial rock groups and winners of music competitions. DOLLARQUEEN is committed on the map as an adult band with a spicy psychedelic rock sound combined with years of experience and a contemporary approach.
Review by Quincy Cloet for Digg.be
Translation by Mix-Notes
Produced by DOLLARQUEEN & Peter Iterbeke
All music written & performed by DOLLARQUEEN, Lyrics Filip Bohyn
Filip Bohyn (Vocal, Harps, Perco)
Koen Schaballie (Guitars, Backing Vocals)
Danny Degheldere (Bass)
Dave Eeckeloo (Drums, Backing vocals)
Backing Vocals on track 2, 3 & 6 By Melissa Nobile
Additional overdub Bart Van Acker on track 8
Recorded & Mixed by Peter Iterbeke @Max Studio's
Mastered by Peter Bellaert @DY-NA-MIX Productions
Pictures By Filip Eeckeloo - Cover Artwork Thijs Degheldere