Written by George Heftler
Don’t Stop or We’ll Die is a hard band to nail down. They’re a comedy band, but not like, a “ha-ha” comedy band. More like “a couple of guys from the world of alt-comedy goof around” band. Comprised of Paul Rust (Love, Inglorious Basterds), Harris Wittels (Inventor of the word humblebrag, Parks & Rec, Sarah Silverman Program) and Michael Cassady (Drunk History, Comedy Bang! Bang!), they put out two EPs and a full-length album, even opening for Alkaline Trio in October of 2014. Unfortunately, a long-time victim of the opiate crisis, Harris overdosed and died in 2015.
Fans were shaken and unsure of the band’s future, but after a break Cassady and Rust pressed on and have released a new full length record, Dazzle Me. It was a bittersweet announcement for me as an enormous fan of Harris- His work on podcasts could fill an entire article itself. Would the band be able to recapture the magic contained in such previous songs as “I Got a Perm for My Camping Trip”?
Luckily for us, Dazzle Me, well, dazzles. The group’s sound has expanded beyond their “bass, drums, keys” trio that had been a staple of previous releases, including a delightful saxophone on “Don’t Wake the Ghost”. I haven’t been able to stop singing “Taco Night” since I heard it. It’s hard to say if it’s their best work yet though.
This album is very good, and I think it is the closest to the line of best fit for the “Funny Song/Good Song” chart of their work. Some of their previous work like “She’s Got Ti**ies (In All the Right Places)” might be funnier, and some of their previous work like “Once in a While” might be stronger musically, but Dazzle Me provides a consistently enjoyable listen. It seems to be the most mature (musically at least, if not content-wise) and Rust shining on the vocals. I think this will be the album I use to introduce people to the band, to get them used to the style before getting into the wilder stuff of the band’s youth.
It’s not a perfect album but it’s a lot of fun. Give it a listen, and be open to a weird and joyous ride. As Harris once said, “I just think… motherfuckers wanna laugh”. So let’s take some time for self-care, and laugh with Don’t Stop or We’ll Die’s Dazzle Me.
Standout tracks: Robotics, Don’t Wake the Ghost, Taco Night, Lily Pad on Your Doorstep