Album Reviews

Dover – The Flame

(Capitol) UK release date: 15 March 2004

Dover - The Flame Dover are a Spanish band who’ve been around for 10 years and are currently undertaking their sixth European tour. They write and sing in English and are currently nominated for Best Rock Band in the Spanish Music Awards.

Musically confident and competent, Dover add well enough to the legacy of tuneful punk-ish pop music to date, with nice melodies and energetic thrashy guitar, although they aren’t very adventurous in their composition.

The opening title-track is one of the weaker songs on the album and a poor choice as a starter; it’s surprising that this is nominated for Best Rock Song in the Spanish Music Awards, but perhaps this is simply a reflection of European musical standards.

Christina Llanos’s vocals are generally robust and powerful throughout the CD, but in The Flame as on a couple of other tracks (notably My Fault) she sounds somewhat strained hitting the high notes. She also sings rather immaturely from the back of the throat sometimes, adding an unpleasant duck-like twang to the vocal.

Dover could really use a lot of lyrical development as well. Not just because every song is just about relational pain (except, maybe, Die For Rock And Roll which seems to be about a bad gig and relational pain), but also because the lyrics are rather vague and generalised, and they make no lasting impression. Ultimately there is nothing really revealing about them, so they aren’t engaging. For example, Honest:

“Honest? I don’t think you heard me
It’s not that you have to do it
It’s simply my command
I know (you) have been very busy
You don’t have the right to do this
You’re stupid like all your friends.”

A lot of the lyrics are like this, and although admittedly it’s not all of them, the album’s wordage is characterised by a lack of humour or irony, which makes it a little tedious (for example Die For Rock And Roll could have been quite tongue-in-cheek, but simply isn’t at all).

In summary, Dover have got the music sorted but in order to be truly “punk” (or even “interesting”) they need to be more involved in the world outside their immediate “friend” and “enemy” list and tackle some broader issues. They failed to grip me in the end because of their lyrics.

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Dover – The Flame