Dommengang, Family Worship Center, Hell Nanacy
Sat, May 27 at 8pm
Dommengang exudes the wild freedom and seeking spirit of the American West Coast. The rock trio delivers guitar innovation, serpentine grooves, and propulsive drumming with gleeful abandon. Guitarist Dan “Sig” Wilson switches from explosive to expansive on a knife’s edge, laying down wailing hooks before evaporating into bristling fuzz. Bassist Brian Markham and drummer Adam Bulgasem’s foundations play with time, galloping forward or stretching out into the cosmos. Wished Eye is an expression of the sheer joy of making music together. Fans of Danny Kirwan and Peter Green will find plenty to love in the guitar lines of Wilson, but Wished Eye is not a look back. The irresistible guitar is infused with deep psychedelia, powerfully expressive drumming, and some devastatingly dirty bass tones. Markham and Wilson’s dual vocal delivery and thoughtful lyrics only propel this force. Dommengang provides a rock punch while ushering the listener into deep space. It’s a glorious romp and a tribute to the power of holding nothing back.
Wished Eye is the studio album of a band that, live, ignites chaotic release and otherworldly meditation. To capture this energy and freedom in the studio, the trio tracked all the songs together to tape and let experimentation run wild. This journey of exploration was indeed linked to all members relocating to Portland, Oregon, finding a new home for their ideas to flourish. Markham explains: “We jammed several times a week for two years, at times with no real goal but to play music and make noise together. Lots of nights were followed by backyard hangs around the fire.” Sig elaborates: “We went into rehearsal with no expectations other than to let every idea breathe and let it go as long as needed.” Working without time constraints or limitations, they could dig deeper than ever into their shared experiences.
“Runaway” conjures the serenity of the Pacific Northwest’s natural beauty, melodies slowly blossoming from ambiance like an oncoming trip in the woods. “Society Blues” shatters the illusion right out of the gates with explosive solos and a rounded, syncopated cadence. Bass clarinet from Golden Retriever’s Jonathan Sielaff pushes the track to its euphoric apex. The smoldering wreckage is followed with the introspective “Last Card,” a ballad delivered with true vulnerability and sincerity. Instrumental “Little Beirut” invokes Portland’s revolutionary spirit, while “Blue and Peaceful” explores a need for stillness with anthemic riffing crumbling into a shimmering folk-rock spiral. Title track “Wished Eye” delves deep into the unconscious with a dream-state jam, the name revealing itself to the band via a looped lyric from a scratched Meditation Singers gospel LP.
Delivered with greater confidence and exuberance than ever before, Wished Eye captures the force of a Dommengang show and their explorative nature — from euphoria to transcendence. Where previous Dommengang albums evoked a restlessness and a yearning for the open road, Wished Eye takes you on that journey with a seasoned band that has found the key to traveling without ever leaving home, and what a trip it is.
Probably a cult.
Hell Nancy is Lauren Joyce, Sun Mor, and Adria Ivanitsky.