You Should Be Listening To Mr Dinkles – An Album Review


Local band Mr. Dinkles recently released their third album titled What Happens When You Smoke Dr Ug, available on Spotify, Youtube, Bandcamp, and pretty much anywhere else you can listen to music. This is one of my favorite bands, and somehow they have less than 1,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.

The Album Cover for What Happens When You Smoke Dr Ug

Their overall vibe is very much punk rock, with some slower, almost more classic rock songs thrown in. It’s all very loud, in your face, and anti-establishment. This album may not be for everyone, but if you’ve got any anger to let out, I’d give it a listen.

Overall, this album feels much more polished than their first two albums, Self Titled and Titled Self. On the other hand, What Happens When You Smoke Dr Ug feels slightly more generic to the genre compared to the others. I don’t really mind this, though. No need to reinvent the wheel, just polish it up a bit.

The main improvement I noticed was in their lyrics. Previous albums focused more on instrumentals and overall sound, whereas Dr Ug has numerous songs that include really great lyrics. A personal favorite of mine is the line “Shallow waters infested with sting rays // Deep breaths, in and out // Sometimes screaming can never get the words out” from the song “Heart Attack”. I also really enjoyed the last song of the album, “What They Say”. It’s rather topical, seemingly written as a reaction to the overturning of Roe vs Wade and the band’s anxiety surrounding it. The song opens with a very soft sound and the lyrics, “I haven’t gotten out of bed in the past few months // F— the Congress, get mad at the punks.” Coming hot off the heels of louder songs like “Run Run Run” and “The Sellout Song”, this moment feels very introspective and emotional, something that rarely happened in their first albums.

Drummer Gretchen Elliot (Left) and singer Lanie Rettig (Right) pose for MoPop’s 2020 Sound Off competition

I like how varied the tone of this album is. It should feel disorganized, but personally, I think it works. Songs flip-flop between loud, angry, classic punk rock like “Run Run Run” or “@__”, and softer, more lyrically focused songs like “And Just Like That”. Some even seem to change tone in the middle of songs, like in “Heart Attack” and “@__”. Again, this should be weird and disorganized, but in this case, it helps to blend songs together and make the album more cohesive. 

Overall, What Happens When You Smoke Dr Ug is a fantastic album from an underrated band. It’s enjoyable whether you’re a hardcore punk fan or someone looking to get into the genre. If you like it, it’s worth checking out some more of the local punk scene. Bands like Queen Chimera, Free Tampons, Sailing Camp, and Teen Vamp Army all have a similar sound with their own unique aspects.