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iDKHOW - Gloom Division (Album Review)

Wednesday, 28 February 2024 Written by Jacob Brookman


‘Gloom Division’ is the second studio album from former Panic!At the Disco bassist Dallon Weekes under the not-at-all-clunky name I Dont Know How But They Found Me, or iDKHOW for short. For the most part, it’s a sunny synth-drenched popsicle, balancing chunky rhythms and bass with catchy-ish melodies and theatrical vocals.

It has the unmistakable feel of a summer record, and would make for inoffensive background music in a hipster coffee shop. Within those boundaries, there is fun to be had. What Love is a 1980s throwback cut with squeezed drums and an elastic, sexy vocal performance that recalls the emo-pop that first introduced us to Weekes. 

But, despite an engaging spoken word intro and an excellent arrangement, the song is surprisingly throwaway, with a chorus that is instantly forgotten.

The best track here is SPKOTDVL, which matches a nimble bassline with raucous, swung power riffage. It recalls some pretty specialist 2000s landfill indie: Fratellis, Head Automatica, Jet.

It’s another throwback but a good throwback, and marries the different musical lineages with class. It would be one of the strongest tracks on a free CD given away with Kerrang! or NME circa 2005.

Gloomtown Brats is also good. It opens with a strutting bassline reminiscent of Another One Bites the Dust, which then develops into a kind of day-glo wurlitzer ride. Again, though, the chorus doesn’t quite deliver on the early promise, with lyrics that struggle to connect. “Rich Girls in Gloomtown / It’s your last chance to get down.” Hm. These feel somehow too youthful for a singer in their 40s.

It's a trend that emerges throughout the album. This kind of lyricism can come across a little desperate — as though the singer is trying to reassure us that they are down with the kids. It’s actually something that Taylor Swift’s recent catalogue struggles with; lyrical messaging that seems the domain of teenagers and university students. It’s not quite ick-inducing, but you get the impression that some ick-inducing people are in to it. Still, the album is generally lighter. Flat white, please.

I Dont Know How But They Found Me Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri June 28 2024 - BRISTOL SWX
Sat June 29 2024 - MANCHESTER O2 Ritz
Sun June 30 2024 - GLASGOW Galvanizers Yard SWG3
Tue July 02 2024 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute 1 Birmingham
Wed July 03 2024 - LONDON O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire

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IDKHOW Announces New Album 'Gloom Division', Schedules UK And European Tour For Summer
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