dumaresq is the musical outlet of Melbourne-based musician Joe Kneipp. crash.projection.interloper, Kneipp’s debut full-length under the dumaresq moniker, is a pretty unique pop record with a lot of instrumental layering and plenty of vocal effects to peak your interest. While crash.projection.interloper is a fairly captivating release, its hour-ish runtime proved to be a bit much for me.
The album opens with the intro song “recurring.laundromat.,” a moody pop tune just shy of the two-minute mark. The track has a laid-back instrumental and some heavily modified vocals and is one of the standouts on the album simply for the atmosphere it creates. Some other highlights on crash.projection.interloper include the incredibly sombre “Lovely Crash” and the more upbeat and heavily layered “Industry.” To my ears, Joe is at his best in the song “Wellness.” The tune’s prominent reverb, both on Kneipp’s vocals and the driving percussion, grabs your attention right away and the overdriven guitars throughout bring a sense of heaviness that isn’t present on the rest of the album. Beneath all the noise, however, is just a well-written pop song that you can hear in all its stripped-down glory on a recent acoustic video.
crash.projection.interloper’s undoing, at least for me, is the filler. The song “Slasher Films” (the first real song on the album) really doesn’t do anything for me. Both the vocals and instrumentals are a lot less interesting than Kneipp proves to be capable of and, despite having one of the shorter runtimes on the album, feels like it takes forever to get through. “Reattach/Retreat” was another dumaresq track I couldn’t hang with. The college-rock sound the song takes on for the first half isn’t bad, just played out. My real gripe with the tune is its second half. After a complete stop, Kneipp jumps back into things with some psychedelic sounding looped guitars and a few vocal lines that seem to have nothing to do with the earlier part of the song. Neither half of “Reattach/Retreat” is necessarily bad, but they aren’t very interesting on their own and just feel slapped together as one piece of music.
There are some parts of crash.projection.interloper that I really enjoyed. I think Joe Kneipp has something interesting on his hands with dumaresq but I think he needed to use a little more restraint for this debut. Nonetheless, the majority of this album is worth the listen. Kneipp has a very interesting take on pop music with his unique vocal melodies and effects and his penchant for instrumental layering.
Written by Justin Bruce
*edited by Danielle Kenedy