As summer begins to draw to a close and the seasons change, NO WIN is bound to give summer one last hoorah with their latest album, Dodger Stadium. Throughout the course of the album it carries elements of power pop, punk and just straight up rock. All of which are mixed together with a semblance of the late 90s and a pleasantly surprising dose of piano to boot.
The album opens with “Hit the Line” which a fun and energetic song in the vein of most of Andrew McMahon’s projects (Something Corporate, Jack’s Mannequin, etc.). It’s well rounded and catchy both musically and lyrically serving as a solid album opener and giving insight to what the album has in store. “New Year” follows and keeps a similar tempo but takes a slight stylistic change in the vocal delivery that keeps things interesting. “Where You From” feels like a bit of a 90s time capsule with some mild sampling/”scratching” and carries a different aesthetic than the previous tracks.
“Grow Out Of It” slows the tempo down a bit and has more of an acoustic vibe to it even with the full band mixed in. It’s a very atmospheric track that perfectly layered instrumentally. “Spent Outside” and “Surfing” make up the middle of the album with “Surfing” being a solid blend of everything seen on the album up to this point. Lyrically, it seems to be a bit generic (mainly the chorus), but it makes up for it with all the lush instrumentation and the solid vocal delivery.
“Time Killer” has a solid Punk-like riff in the mix and keeps the latter part of the album interesting, but it’s track placement tends to allow it to get mildly lost on the album as a whole. “The Hit” is another unique track that is heavy on instrumentation structure and includes a saxophone this time around. “Crook” is another solid track that carries the Andrew McMahon vibes, but not just with the instrumentation this time as it the vocally delivery could easily be mistaken for McMahon. It is probably the strongest track overall on the album and if put in rotation in a live setting has the potential to transcend and really come alive.
The album starts to draw to a close with “Working Late” which given it’s placement on the album is easily forgettable. However, in doing so it does the song a strong disservice as it is another fun mid-tempo track. For an album closer “Burnout” feels almost too optimistic and just doesn’t seem to be a proper bookend to the album when it starts out, but about midway through the track it begins to form into a solid endcap to the album.
Overall, Dodger Stadium is a solid and fun album perfectly placed toward the end of the summer (released August 19th via Dangerbird Records). For some, it may take a few playthroughs to really appreciate but it is worth it as the album gets better with each subsequent listen.
Dodger Stadium is available now on all major streaming platforms or merch can be purchased via Dangerbird Records.