Dopus Opus Resonates on the Lake Sessions LP

By Deuce

If you don’t know what to expect on the latest magnum opus from Dopus Opus (just two dope boys in California…) do yourself a favor. Expect the unexpected, because that’s just what the pair delivers track after track on the recently released album The Lake Sessions.

They’re dropping everything from what’s widely considered honky tonk to reggae, if you can believe that. In doing so they hug their guitars, summon more than a few cogent instrumentals, and switch styles, music, and appeal from cut to cut.

The biggest surprise of all is likely the vocalist, who showcases a mastery for unveiling melodic phrasing that, in most instances, makes all the difference on the tunes. Take the opener “We Need Love”, for example. The song shuffles along, it’s got a little swing to it, and the guitars are going neck and neck with each other, vying for your affection.

But the style the lead vocalist kicks (who could be either Terry Waterman or Steve McKenzie) is one worth remembering—and not just because it’s so adaptive on the rest of the LP. He’s got a vocal presence, a palatable quality to his voice, that’s somehow friendly, accessible, and the centerpiece of this number. This is one of the ones where the longer you listen to it the better it sounds, especially when the other singer chimes in, echoing the lead at a higher pitch.

The foregoing reggae aspirations of the duo come to fruition on “In My Dreams” with its laid back, feel good chords. You can put your head into this track and all but again, once the vocalist gets to that winner of a hook (in which the single syllable from the word ‘I’ is stretched out a couple bars and musical notes), it really goes.

Plus, somebody busts out the funk guitar on this one too, proving the pair definitely knows what it’s doing when it comes to the instrumentation. Some wind instrument keeps floating by on a foundation of either old school, 80’s type keys or a pleasing effect on one of those guitars before things break up into the patient scratching of crickets brimming outdoors.

Again, there’s really no way to ready oneself for this degree of creativity that’s almost as definitional as the word itself. It defies genres, or rather blends them together very well.

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