DUMBLUCK dynamically infuses punk-influenced rock with an undercurrent of bouncy reggae rhythms and funky stylings—resulting in a distinct sound that some have dubbed as The Police for the new millennium.
Hailing from Los Angeles and Orange County, the So-Cal trio features Jim Perkins on guitar and lead vocals, Phil Valdovinos on drums and Johnny Baldaray on bass and vocals. No strangers to the local music scene, this hard-hitting band has developed a reputation for commanding, high-energy live shows. Rapidly amassing fervent fans, DUMBLUCK have shared the stage with Bad Religion, Pepper, Alien Ant Farm, Long Beach Shortbus, Violent Femmes, Fishbone, Voodoo Glow Skulls and Junior Reid to name a few.
DUMBLUCK first gained national exposure when their adrenaline-rushed sound was embraced by the X Games, who handpicked the band’s exuberant cover of ‘70’s funk group, Rare Earth’s “I Just Want To Celebrate” as the anthem for the 2004 Summer X Games. The tune grabbed the attention of ESPN, who then had the band record renditions of CCR’s “The Night Time is the Right Time” and J Geils Band’s “House Party” for use as the theme music for the cable network’s “Sunday Night Baseball” in ’05 and it’s College Basketball coverage in ’06.
Soon after, DUMBLUCK headed back into the studio to finish recording a full-length album with co-producers the Wizards of Oz. With their debut album, “Sweetmilk Underground” (released April 2006) DUMBLUCK has accomplished the difficult feat of capturing the band’s live intensity on record. Featuring twelve stellar tracks, the album effortlessly shifts gears between edgier, emotional tunes (“One Life More”, “Down for Whatever”) and bouncy, laidback melodies (“Real Again”, “Permanent”.) Currently assaulting the airwaves are “Favorite Song” and “Far Inside”—getting spins on Southern California’s alt-rock station, X103.9 FM.
Themes of moving on and moving up are featured prominently on the record; “During the making of this album, every one of us lost a job, a girlfriend—and went through some kind of drama,” laughs Perkins, who writes the lyrics, “We’re all at a different place from where we started, and listening to the songs is like looking through a yearbook for me.” The arc of their personal changes are evident throughout “Sweetmilk Underground” both lyrically and sonically; from the band’s early recording of the poignant and riff-heavy “What About You” (What about you, what about me? What about the promises I can never keep?) to the last track recorded for the album, the fast and loose “Rollaway” (Everything’s going to be fine, you know these things take their time, so take your time).
The cover art for “Sweetmilk Underground” depicts the band’s lucky rabbit logo encircled by a ring of waves, dice, playing cards, skulls and guitars— illustrates DUMBLUCK’s outlook, “It’s about our home by the ocean, taking risks, being lucky and making music your life,” explains Baldaray, who designed the album cover. Mindful of the serendipitous chain of events that has led them this far, a self-effacing Perkins expresses, “Our name also acknowledges how positive outcomes have fallen into place for us from bad situations, out of, well, a bit of dumb luck.”
DUMBLUCK’s philosophy of letting things fall into place extends to their music. While DUMBLUCK could be considered part of the new generation of bands fueling the pop-punk resurgence, the band’s eclectic, versatile sound refuses to be categorized in a tidy genre. And that’s the way they like it. “To me, the biggest complement to our music is that ten different people have come up me with ten different favorite songs,“ says Valdovinos.