The D.O.T. Diary on Limited Edition 180g Import LP
Sophomore Album from the New Project by Mike Skinner (The Streets) & Rob Harvey (The Music)
The D.O.T. is a band that is so much more than the sum of its parts. That's quite a statement when the band is made up of Mike Skinner and Rob Harvey. And no they won't tell you what it stands for. That's Mike Skinner, he of The Streets and urban beat poet laureate of the nation by the way. Oh and Rob Harvey, the banshee voiced front man of noughties dance rockers, The Music.
The relationship was formed when Mike and Rob's former bands would cross paths on the touring circuit and solidified when Mike asked rob to accompany him on the final Streets tour. Mike and Rob soon then put in some studio time and reveled in the freedom to make music for it's own sake. With no need to conform to a specific style, or satisfy a record label's scheduling demands, their sound gradually evolved into what you hear on their second album Diary. A mix of soulful electronic blues and dance with Rob's vocals soaring stronger than ever and Mike's beats driving the songs home.
Sometimes jittery, sometimes smooth, the blend of Rob's vocals and feel for a melody mixes perfectly with Mike's ear for a cutting edge sound that is somehow timeless. "How We all Lie" is a plaintive tale of self belief and heartbreak, the two voices playing off each other in perfect harmony, like The Beach Boys discovered electro. "Blood Sweat and Tears" is one of the most classic sounding ballads of regret we have heard since Johnny Cash, with a raw '60s-sounding beat.
The quality in depth of the songwriting is always apparent but the real surprise is how they maintain that while encompassing such a wide variety of styles from "Left at the Lights," the song Coldplay wish they had written to "Left Alone," with a funk baseline that you can't believe wasn't written by Hall and Oates. There's even tracks to satisfy those Streets fans yearning to hear Mike's distinctive tones again with "Wherever you May" be evocative as one punter put it "a geezerish Hot Chip."