The Dementia Cookie Box has been around, in one incarnation or another, for 10 years or so. They’ve run through many different phases: rock, punk, acoustic, electronica, etc.
With the release of their new album, they have carved out a nice little niche for themselves by playing some good old fashioned mid-90s alterna-rock in the vein of The Smashing Pumpkins or Hum. With the music world currently hooked on “faux punk” (I believe the term is pop-punk) and the forced emotion of emo, it’s not a bad niche to have.
There are some good bits on here. The vocals are well done, and most of the songs have a pretty nice guitar hook, which makes it darn near impossible to get out of your head. “Rain” is a perfect example…no wonder it’s the song that kicks off the album. It feels a bit like summer with a sweet guitar lick and a verse that just begs you to sing along with it, but you don’t know whether you should feel happy or sad singing it.
“Two-Step” is, far and away, the best song on the album. Once you hear it you’ll be singing it for the next month, but not in that annoying Pussycat Dolls “Don’t Cha” kind of way. More in the I-really-want-to-hear-that-song-again kind of way. Even now as I sit here typing this, I’m wanting to hear it again (only I can’t, or it would interrupt my 100th viewing of Van Helsing).
All in all, it’s a good listen, with only one misstep or two along the way. The most glaring one would have to be “Stars”, a spoken-word poem set to music. It’s not that the song is bad…it’s actually pretty cool (I’m a big fan of the guitars in particular), but it seems a bit out of place within the context of the rest of the album.
The only other problem is the production, and only that is a problem in comparison with a major label release. As far as independent releases go, it’s not terrible production…just enough to where you’ll notice it. The drums aren’t all that snappy, and the guitars seem to get a little sludgy and fade into the mix from time to time. But, other than that, it seems fairly well done.
Is it an absolutely mind-blowing release? No…but it’s pretty stinkin’ good, especially if you’re looking for some good, self-produced, under-the-radar rock. I know that seems like a pretty small market, but I like to think that it isn’t. And, after listening to this album, I believe that market will begin to grow again.
Essential Tracks: “Dream of a Million Colors”, “Sacred Bodies”, “Her Friend Paul”
Favorite Tracks: “Rain”, “Two-Step”
Check out the band here, their Myspace here, and download the entire album for free off of their website...just click on the Media tab (if you like the album, please support the group by purchasing the album off their site).