Volumen 1 :: Shane Hickey
Volumen 2 :: Doug Smith
Volumen^2 :: Bryan Hickey
bKCAWCK :: Chris Bacon
Volumen Beta :: Bob Marshall

Doug Smith Volumen 2
Doug Smith

If Shane is the high school Physics Club treasurer of VOLUMEN, Doug is the affable, popular guy who toes the fine line between band dork and senior class president. Cheerleaders leak the info that they want him to ask them out, but he’s always genuinely nice to the less popular girls and boys, too. In addition to writing most of what doesn’t get written by his longtime friend and musical partner, Shane (in the platonic sense, that is—at least we THINK so), Doug’s signature wikkid lyxx and fine tenor are the yin to Shane’s yang, the butter to Shane’s muffin, the hot dog in Shane’s....well, anyway, the other half of the songwriting equation. Additionally, Doug is a beacon of calm and tranquility in his other bandmates’ roiling sea of adolescent squirreliness, and a fine cook to boot. The last male bonding I did with Doug was undertaken when we spent two days in the Montana wilderness picking morel mushrooms. Oh, the magic he worked with those little morsels...

Here's some articles and other random press for your viewing pleasure.

Hellride Music 01/28/2007
URL: View Actual Article
Title: Science Faction Review
Author: Jay Schwartz

This is a pretty interesting band that comes from Montana of all places. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that good music can’t come from Montana (haha) but I guess I wasn’t expecting this energetic mixture of new wave, stoner pop and rock and roll from the Western frontier. Yes, I said the word “pop” but I don’t mean radio pop, this is more akin to a mixture of Queens of the Stone Age (early and new), Interpol, Velvet Underground and Failure. If you can roll with a combination like that then Volumen may be well worth your time.

I’m not even sure of the best way to describe this record, but here goes nothing. Volumen write songs that are absolutely all over the place. You get riffs that have slight stoner rock n’ roll tinge like Queens of the Stone and Monotonix but they mix it up with poppy hooks, quirky yet melodic vocals and a heavy use of keyboards and synths that add a definite New Wave feel to their overall sound. The opening track “Side of a Box” is a great preview of the things to come over the course of the next 15 tracks. This track is catchy as hell but really hard to describe. There are rock riffs, rhythms that wouldn’t sound out of place in some of the great bands of the 80’s, strong vocals and the tasteful use of synthesizers for extra flavor. This isn’t my usual jam for sure, because normally when I’m listening to 80’s sounding stuff, it is actually from the 80’s and not modern but this is damn good for certain. “Orson Welles was Right” is another awesome song that has a slight alt-rock feel in the verses but wanders into catchy pop during the chorus with trippy keyboards and a memorable lyrical hook that will surely stick with you. The band also likes throwing in some instrumentals as well to mix things up. “Descolada” is an interesting trip through new wave that finds a way to work in a sparing stoner groove from time to time. “The Launch” slowly fades in with odd noises and samples before building up to vocal-free new wave jam that shimmers with bright melodies and spaced out keyboards. “I Dunno” reminds me of the hugely under-rated Monotonix (Israel) if they toned down their balls out stoner rock elements a bit and concentrated more on their pop sensibilities and incorporated infectious keyboards into the mix. The band returns to their instrumental side on the 7+ minute epic “Dune” and its short, droning counterpart “Dune (Revisited)”. The former of which actually sounds quite eerie as it builds up with a decidedly heavier vibe and keyboards that have a darker tone as opposed to the more pop oriented fare of the disc’s earlier songs. In fact “Dune” has some of the band’s most psyched out guitar work with a few of the leads almost reminding me of Kyuss in some odd way and the whole track is epic in scope.

This entire record is really damn good. It surely isn’t for everyone as it depends on where your tastes lie but I found myself enjoying this thing as whole. No bum tracks, just a damn fun record to listen to with catchy songs and unique ideas that are well executed. A great listen for those feeling a bit adventurous. I’ll be sure and try to pick up their other releases based on the strength of this one.