It’s a genuine rock ‘n’ roll story.
The Dose—Indio Downey [vocals, guitar] and Ralph Alexander [drums,bass]—realized their destiny as a duo by accident after a gig in their native Los Angeles, CA. The boys had a gig scheduled as a trio, but through unforeseen circumstances, Indio and Ralph found themselves forced to take the stage as a two-piece. However, everything clicked. They spent the next year uncovering the ingredients of a singular style steeped in rock bombast, alternative poetry, blues rawness, and progressively metallic intricacy. It’s as if the ghost of nineties Seattle started to finally (and thankfully) possess the Spotify era…
Living together and jamming daily, the band tirelessly pushed to bring this vision into focus. Inspired by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Tame Impala, and The Sword, The Dose unlocked a robust signature sound without adding any other members, resorting to digital playback, or employing backing tracks.
“We want to be the biggest-sounding two-piece we can be,” affirms Ralph. “I play bass synth pedals with my foot while I’m drumming. In Rush, Geddy Lee would use the same pedals when he’d switch to keyboards. We didn’t want to sacrifice an end of the spectrum.”
During the summer of 2015, Indio and Ralph traded Southern California for Atlanta, GA. In between visiting members of Indio’s family, they took an opportunity to hole up in a rehearsal space for a month, honing the delivery and writing music. Armed with a bath of ideas, they spent seven days in Nashville, TN recording what would become their 2016 self-titled debut EP.
Recorded and self-produced at Welcome To 1979 and Jack White’s Third Man Records, muscular riffs, double-fisted drumming, and entrancing vocals drive these six songs. The first single “Cold Hands” builds with airy guitar and a breathy hook that’s chillingly catchy.
“Musically, that one materialized pretty quickly,” says Indio. “The lyrics show the way my girl makes me feel. When you’re in love with someone, it’s hard to be apart from them. When you see them again, everything is better.”
Tracked live at Third Man, “Truth Lies Inside” slithers between a swaggering drum strut punctuated by a bluesy punch and howling refrain. It stands out as a cathartic piece for the frontman, examining his sobriety and the journey to find happiness within rather than through drugs or sex.
Elsewhere on the EP, The Dose swing from the six-string sidewinder wallop of “Glory” to the blissful distortion of seven-minute instrumental odyssey “Space Trader.” They tap into a raw intimacy on the acoustic hum of the lovelorn “Adore,” which happened in just one take.
“It’s the first song I wrote after getting clean,” Indio goes on. “It’s accompanied me through my relationship with my girlfriend and the band’s journey. It’s a special one.”
Just like the music, the name encompasses multiple dimensions.
“It’s a play on words,” explains Ralph. “In Spanish, ‘Dos’ means two. At the same time, you’re getting a dose of our brand of rock ‘n’ roll.”
“We want people to get excited about this kind of music again,” concludes Indio.
The Dose could be the remedy rock ‘n’ roll needs.