By: David Pastor
Dot Hacker is a band that shouldn’t be taken for granted (not that you would, but it happens sometimes) for a few different reasons, but mostly because it’s a band that has struggled to even exist in the last five years. Scheduling conflicts. And that was before Dot Hacker frontman Josh Klinghoffer officially joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers as their new guitarist. Needless to say, for a group of session musicians that met while on tour playing for Gnarls Barkley, the odds have always been stacked against them. And working on different schedules meant that for awhile, Dot Hacker was just a website with two tracks available for download and nothing else (“Order/Disorder” was the biggest tease, no?). But slowly, it started to come together. They finally released an EP two years ago, followed by the long-awaited release of their full-length album “Inhibition.” Two and a half years later to be precise. The album was finished in 2009, but had to be shelved for wait for it…scheduling issues. But let’s not dwell on the past. Everything worked out in the end and “Inhibition” turned out to be the thoughtful, euphoric experience that exceeded expectations. Now, nearly two years later, they have released a second album entitled “How Does Your Process? (Work),” which will be followed by yet another release later in the fall (the aptly named sequel (Play)). So we’ve definitely made some progress; in other words, Dot Hacker exists. As far as this latest album is concerned, they sound heavier now, less piano riffs and a lot more guitar; and chord changes that ought to be studied in music theory classes. It’s definitely a more aggressive approach (especially on “First in Forever”), but no less poignant. It’s like classic rock with more attention to detail. There’s not a wasted moment on this record, with “Aim” and “Whatever You Want” being two of the highlights, though I was also impressed with the spoken-word verse on “Floating Up The Stairs” and the Chili Pepper-esque bridge on “First in Forever.” Now all we need is a tour on the East Coast to consummate the experience, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Besides, the Chili Peppers are recording a new album.