Donny and the Dorks @ Funny World

Don't mean to sound like an etymology spazz, but there's a huge difference between dorks, dweebs, and doofuses. God help you if you're a doofus: hapless, ham-fisted, hopeless. Calling someone a dweeb at least connotes a smidge of intelligence, albeit a kind that is nerdily articulated or used pathetically for one-upsmanship against someone who couldn't care less. Dorks, however, are lovably over-enthusiastic and harmlessly inept. The contemplative yet carefree synth surf of Tempe's Donny and the Dorks is a perfect parallel. Though the band's breezy guitar tones might conjure the loose vibes of Real Estate or DIIV, the Dorks add stuttering rhythms and sweet vocal melodies sung with a welcome bit of snot. The band's self-produced music videos are cleverly mundane exercises in straight-faced silliness. The clip for "Navy Blue" shows a teen in a sailor outfit pedaling around a neighborhood on a little girl's bicycle while being pursued by weirdly masked Wiccans. All the while, the band looks disinterested with their instruments along the sidewalk and in a lifeguard tower on the sandy California shore. The plaintive one-shot vid for "Falling Off the Deep End" layers three takes of the band chilling in a backyard, seated and strumming while lolling their heads around, the stacked video rendering them into drowsy suburban Medusas. Never underestimate the muted prowess of the dork.

 
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