It takes a lot to get through the cynicism of the “first listen” of an album. Sometimes, you just have to let yourself go and completely become immersed in the music. Upon my first listen of How’s Your Process? (Work) not only did I not skip a track, but I just sat in my room and took in all the atmosphere. Good albums have that habit to make you stop what you’re doing (Facebook, Snapchat) and focus on everything from the tone of the keyboards to the tremors in the singer’s voice on a single word. This album made me pay attention to every detail.
Dot Hacker is the brain child of Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer and guitarist/keyboardist Clint Walsh. The main strength of this album is that it’s cohesive while not having a specific structure to it. The songs are meant to continue as long as they need to, but you never feel like you want them to end. You can contribute it to a perfectly orchestrated jam session. Right from the start, the track “Aim” sets out to do what its title entails. It’s a mixture of dreamy guitar, harmonious keyboards and convivial percussion that hits a bulls-eye on multiple targets. Klinghoffer’s vocals shine on this song — hell, on the whole album. He almost layers his voice to be another instrument which is very impressive. Listening to these songs, you almost wonder if there could be a possible collaboration with Chino Moreno of Deftones. (One can dream, right?)
Another favorite track of mine, “Whatever You Want” shows a little harder rock edge with more aggressive guitar in parts. It’s half fury and half relaxing. Dot Hacker has a certain polarity that works in that they can go from a thrashing sound to a dream sequence at the stop of a dime. There are only a few bands currently that can display that type of versatility. These tracks present so many layers that will adhere to the many tastes and flavors of rock fans. That particular standard could be a little intimidating to the conventional music fan, but (Work) is a listening experience that almost commands your attention.
How’s Your Process? (Work) is the first of a two-part album that the band plans to release this year. What can I say? I love music that I cannot classify and put inside a box. This album took me through many twists and turns, the expected and the unexpected; Dot Hacker comprised the jam album that I always wanted. It doesn’t rest on its laurels or constrict itself, letting the artists explore the realms of their artistry.