The eclectic band of Minneapolis-based emcees, Doomtree, recently released All Hands, which deviates itself from the typical rap you hear on the radio. The songs have heavy basslines and quick-paced, explosive beats. The proper way to enjoy this album is with your subwoofer on high to let the emcees’ hyper-charged lyrics hit you hard when the bass builds up for the chorus.
The album title, All Hands, alludes to the nautical saying, “All hands on deck.” You’ll notice some of the songs on the album include maritime metaphors and occasional melodic sounds to give the listener a feeling of being cast out at sea while other songs focus on blending instrumentals with electric beats.
Doomtree waited three years to release All Hands after isolation in a cabin far from any distractions to perfect their sound. The individual band members also explored solo careers during this time, which has developed Doomtree’s sound that, in my opinion, gives them more clout than simply a Midwest favorite.
A personal favorite of mine was “Heavy Rescue,” a song that sets itself apart from the rest of the album with guitar riffs tied in with an electric beat. The references to oceanic themes and rough waters in this song complement the album’s theme. The lyrics can be interpreted any way you feel, but to me, it’s about the emcee’s challenges they encounter with rejection and learning to overcome “the rising tides” with continuous improvement and positive thinking.
Another song worth listening to is “80 On 80.” The song gives the listener a glimpse into the band’s interpretation of life on road. The lyrics delve into the difficulty of making a name for themselves while touring when they don’t have hometown familiarity.
Having only seen Dessa perform once and not being too familiar with the rest of the band, I can say I’m pleasantly surprised by this album. If you weren’t lucky enough to attend Doomtree’s All Hands Day for the album blowout in Minneapolis, you’ll get a chance to see them perform in Madison Feb. 21. While I usually want my favorite bands to play the classics that I’m familiar with, I think it’s safe to say the avid Doomtree fans will be more than satisfied with everything All Hands has to offer.