Hypnotized – DOKA
Hypnotized is the fourth full-length album from Swedish alternative punkrockers DOKA. The album follows 2018’s Separate Ways.
I’ve not listened to DOKA before so I went in without any real expectations. From the start it sounds a bit like Hot Water Music, definitely inspired by the American east-coast alternative punk rock, and perhaps mixed with a tiny bit of garage rock as well. It’s often mid-tempo and the songs clock in pretty well over 3 minutes on average (7 songs in 28 minutes).
It’s definitely well-written and nicely performed throughout the seven tracks. It’s easy on the ears and nothing stands out negatively in the production. The album is produced by Mathias Färm and Dan Swanö, who both got a good ear when it comes to production. I enjoy the album while I listen to it, but many of the songs don’t totally get me engaged and don’t stay with me for long after the listening session. It might lack a little bit of a unique identity and blend in with genre-colleagues a bit, I would have a hard time picking out DOKA from other similar bands in a line-up.
As mentioned though, the songs are stellar lyrically, blending really well with the musical style, being a bit on the darker side of things. Both opener End of the line and second track Deadly as you are well-crafted alternative rock pieces, and Hypnotize is a nice track. Overall the songs have grown on me throughout the time I’ve listened to the album. Perhaps it’s more of a personal preference towards a more punky sound that keeps me from being totally engaged. Because other than the slight lack of a unique identity mentioned above, I don’t have much negative to say about the album.
If you like the alternative rock genre this is a nice little album. I listened to the band’s first album during my time writing this, and it’s clear that they have gone a long way since 2015, having a much more mature and a bit darker sound now, as opposed to the more punk-sounding debut. But as I said above, I kind of prefer the more punk side of things, although I applaud DOKA for the evolution in their sound on Hypnotized.