I was recently introduced to the alternative/punk rock trio DND7 fresh out of the Portland, OR music scene. Frankly, I assumed that the Portland area was full of hipsters and solo acoustic musicians playing soulful songs in internet cafes… but, I seem to be pleasantly mistaken. (That’s probably because I live exactly 2,929 miles from the PDX airport. I mean, if I had $400 in gas and two days of straight through driving time, I might get to see these guys in real life someday… just sayin’)
Back to the music.
I received a DM on Instagram from Blake Bieker, the 18-year-old drummer for the band. He said he had some music to check out and sent me some songs. (Seriously, who told him that I couldn’t resist hearing new music? I need to thank that person!) He sent over links to Straight Trippin’ and Walk Away.
With absolutely NO idea what to expect or even how he reached me, I had faith, put my headset on, and clicked the first link.
It took exactly 45 seconds for me to fall in love with Straight Trippin’. The intro rolls in with some fast, muffled drum work, then the bassline drops in. Soon, there are a couple of loooong crying guitar notes. The muffled effect to the intro audio lured me in closer, and I upped the volume just in time for it all to come together full volume and pace.
An anthem of teen angst ensues, the lyrics poetically asking the age-old questions of who am I and why am I here?
Jonny Wilson gives us a guitar solo at the 3:20 mark and I was instantly taken back to my own teenage years. The solo brings in a bit of glam rock influence (think along the lines of C.C. DeVille of Poison or Eddie Ojeda of Twisted Sister).
I strongly heard the influences of the late 90’s and early 2000’s in this song and in the others on their 5-song EP titled “The Cure”. Glimpses of Blink 182, Green Day, Lit, and others are sensed… In the song “What’s a Dream” Blake’s intro drums sound distinctly Metallica-esque, and I felt a bit of Alice In Chains to Ethan’s bassline.
I navigated over to YouTube to check out the official video for Straight Trippin’. Handheld cameras, fisheye lenses, GoPro car footage, and candid free-spirited, Guys-Just-Wanna-Have-Fun style footage solidify the lyrics of the song. Wardrobe choices reflect the musical influences on the band; shirts featuring Green Day, Offspring, Metallica, Iron Maiden, and the classic old-school MTV can be spotted throughout. Add in Ethan Short’s excellent hair flipping form, and there’s no doubt that there’s an aspect of metal influence thrown in for good measure.
Overall, my favorite track off the EP was Straight Trippin’, but all of the songs have their own merits. You can check out the full EP of lyric videos on YouTube here, or purchase the EP from the iTunes store.
I’m looking forward to hearing more from the DND7 trio in 2019. A full-length album is in the works, due out later this year.
You can find the band’s information here: