Doping the Void – Ungeheuer

Having members living in both Pittsburgh, PA and Germany is not the only standout characteristic of Doping the Void. They are a punk band with a trumpet player, but don’t you dare think that they play ska music. Consisting of Paul Neil on guitar and vocals, Jörg Frauendiener on bass and vocals, Michael “Treetop” Voss on trumpet and vocalsand Chris Peterek on drums, DtV albums are packed full of conspiracy theories, cryptids, and the occasional stripper. Their latest entitled, Ungeheuer (Monster for those of us who aren’t fluent in German), was released on Leap Day, February 29, 2024, by their label Katzulhu Productions and continues with those aforementioned themes. 

The opening track, “Maybe Thats Real” is everything that made me fall in love with punk rock. It has that gritty, garage sound, but it is just polished enough. The lyrics will make you question everything that you thought that you believed in and will have you yelling, “NOTHING IS REAL!!” to innocent bystanders on the street. The bridge in this song is my favorite on the album as it allows you catch your breath for a second before the song crashes to a close. 

Next up, the trumpet ushers in “The Two Crowns” and the song features the familiar vocal talent of Steel City’s own, Chuck Veri of Inco Fido (also on Katzulhu Productions). I was blown away with how powerful this song was the first time that I heard it. The rolling guitar behind the vocals brings together a perfect collision of noise that has distinct hints of both Inco Fido and Doping the Void. 

 “You Know How Time Travelers Are.” Yup. It’s all about that wibbly, wobbly, timey whimey stuff. At least that’s what the BBC taught me about Time Lords. The lyrics are based around a personal experience of a band mate’s family member having a time traveler show up in her house. This song is fun and makes me bounce in my seat whilst listening, but it also makes me sad that nothing cool like that ever happens in my life. 

I have to admit, I’m a bit biased when it comes to my favorite song on the album. As an already established fan of The Artist Known as Tim, I loved this alternative Universe rendition of TAKAT’s “Praying For Rain.” The guitars added a grittiness not heard in the original, but doesn’t stifle the powerful vocals that flowed from the Appalachian songwriter’s mouth. Then, Treetop comes in with his trumpet and completely changes the feel of the song and knocks my socks off. We all need to get together and crowdsource a full DtV/TAKAT crossover album immediately.

“Seeing Invisible” is the last song on Ungeheuer and begins with a haunting bass riff and subtle drums and trumpet. Then the track takes off in their typical anecdotal style and I can almost imagine this being told during a time when our ancestors would sit around a fire at night and entertain each other with stories. Overall, this album was amazing and a breathe of fresh air for me. Doping the Void proves that you don’t have to write songs with serious subject matter. Sometimes, you can just tell stories about monsters. 

Doping the Void just got back from their German stretch of their tour and will begin the U.S. leg today! Find a show local to you and then get there. You will not be disappointed. 

Breezy McMullen is the Editor in Chief at PA and Find Out. In addition to her duties there, she is also a co-owner of Allegedly Records, runs Snubbed By Allegedly, and is a founding member of the international co-op, Scene to Scene. When she’s not herding children or musicians, you can find her in the woods or on a lake getting stoned…. probably. 

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