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Review: Dopamines at the Melody Inn


The Dopamines relaxing at home. - SUBMITTED PHOTO

Wasted Wednesday
The Melody Inn
Wednesday, April 25

Just as they had finished tuning up, Cincinnati-based three-man punk outfit The Dopamines collectively asked for more beer. When some fans obligingly airlifted a few of the Melody Inn's trademark red Solo cups to the stage, singer and bassist John Weiner took quick gulp.

"What's up with his Bud Light, half-foam pour?" he asked into the mic, before spitting jet of foam onto the floor of the Melody's stage as the bartender seethed.

But it's all in good fun. Especially for a band who was formed for the express purpose of not taking themselves too seriously. In true punk fashion, Weiner went on to insult the other supporting acts ("If you didn't like Anwar Sadat, that's cause they suck.") as well as express a generally hilarious amount of irreverence for....just about everything. At one point Weiner instructed the crowd to begin chanting "Sixty-nine with your mom and dad," a chant which the crowd took up rather reluctantly.

Judging by the way most of the forty or so rabid, drunken fans reacted to their music - singing most songs word-for-word, launching beer cans and spraying beer on the band, moshing and jostling like crazed wolves - it's clear The Dopamines have earned themselves pretty damned loyal following in the six years they've been in business.

The Dopamines are masters of punk in the vein of early-'90s Green Day, but with even faster delivery on the lyrics and heavier, choppier guitar work. Bassist Weiner and guitarist John Lewis sing in unison most of the time, giving their songs that brilliant, unified feeling that goes well with the eardrum-splitting wall of guitar noise that comes from their amps.

Evansville-based Be My Doppelganger opened up for The Dopamines. Cut from the same cloth, BMD also used fast-strummed bass chords and two rhythm guitars with a healthy dose of well-placed hair metal solos. Their songs have an earnest and even sentimental sound at times, as they bring straight-forward buzzing guitars and sternum-rattling bass. Their songs - much like The Dopamines - have a little bit of the joking, skater punk vibe of the mid-'90s.

On the darker end of the spectrum was Louisville-based Anwar Sadat. The band combines elements of metal and punk with distinctly evil psychedelic sprawl. This is the music of insanity; the kind of thing that makes you think rock and roll really just may be the Devil's music. Two bright white strobe lights on the floor behind them obscured the band member's faces at times, and lit up their drummer's eerie, jack-o-lantern grin so he looked almost like a crazed skeleton bashing away at the drums.


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