The Danbees Are Back – ‘The Veggie Tapes’


The modern rock fan isn’t satisfied by big riffs and stellar solos alone. Millennial listeners and rock n’ roll aficionados whose taste has evolved with the genre itself are demanding something more out of their favorite bands; they want texture, sonic virtuosity and mind-bending grooves that test the limits of melody altogether. The Danbees by no means reinvent the wheel with their new EP The Veggie Tapes, but what they do accomplish could be considered just as important by some listeners. The Veggie Tapes is a hot off the press six song extended play that contains harsh rock n’ roll tonality in the traditional style, but with a uniquely contemporary accent that separates it from the throwback kings and retro-worshipping melodic rock bands that have unfortunately been dominating the pop lexicon in the last five years. You won’t find any surprises or watershed moments in The Veggie Tapes, but if you’re hungry for some stylish riffs that aren’t shy about dipping off of the beaten path and exploring harmonious parts unknown, you’ll likely find that it hits the spot in all the right ways.

I would argue that one of the two singles released in support of The Veggie Tapes, “Can’t Sleep,” doesn’t really feel like it belongs on this EP, but not for the reasons you might initially think. Yes, it is defiantly pop/rock-ish in its design and execution, and no, I don’t think that it represents some “selling out” turning point for the band. But that said, this song feels so much more mature, solid and on point than any of the other material on this record, most of which I would describe as sounding like raw outtakes from the band’s debut album Fishnets Anonymous. It’s not that it overshadows the rest of the songs here, but it definitely stands out as the most complete song I’ve heard The Danbees perform so far. This extended play has a very organic, almost garage rock kind of a vibe to it, but “Can’t Sleep” sounds so polished that it feels like it was produced in a different studio than “Down at the Bar” or “Let’s Get It Right” were.

The Danbees are really one of those bands that I feel like I need to see live to fully appreciate. They make records that are much better than tolerable, but their music has such an open air, jam band-quality to it that every time I listen to one of their singles or records I feel like I’m only hearing the idea for a song instead of the realization of their total potential. With the kind of momentum they’ve been garnering in the last couple of years I expect to see them making their way out to my neck of the woods in the near future, and with any luck I’ll have the opportunity to see them in action for myself. In the meantime, I think that rock fans of all ages will agree with me that their latest release, The Veggie Tapes, is a fine addition to their growing body of work and an example of their continued aesthetical development.

Gwen Waggoner