After a successful Pledge campaign, transatlantic all female hard-rock outfit Dorja unveil their debut full-length album Gemini.
Following the departure of guitarist Holly Henderson in May 2017, Dorja recruited Irish guitarist Sarah Michelle who joined founding members Aiym Almas (vocals), Rosie Botterill (guitar), Becky Baldwin (bass) and Anna Mylee (drums). With a strong lineup once again, these five in-demand musicians got together to record their debut album.
Since their formation in 2016 Dorja has gone on to release a pair of singles along with a four-track EP. For those familiar with the band’s early works, several of these tracks have also been included on Gemini. This includes Dorja’s debut single “Fire” – an incredibly infectious track which perfectly encapsulates the band’s raw energy and sound. Likewise, Dorja’s dark and brooding sophomore single “Far Gone” also features. The aforementioned being the first track to be recorded with the band’s current line.
Three of the four tracks featured on the Target Practice EP are also included on the album including as previously mentioned lead single “Fire”, along with “Reaching Out”. The latter of which features some captivating heavy riffs. Whereas “Target Practice” opens with a tight drumline from Mylee which is reminiscent in places of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” before slowly building towards an explosive conclusion.
In addition, Dorja’s debut album features six brand new tracks which really chronicle the evolution of the band’s sound. Upon first listen it’s immediately apparent why “Gemini” was chosen as the title track. This astounding song has alt-rock/grunge undertones in places and is underpinned by an intricate bass line by Becky Baldwin as well as being infused with a blistering slide guitar solo and beautiful vocal harmonies. “Gemini” is one of the many standout tracks on the record.
With “Limitless” Dorja delivers an up-tempo, foot stomping, slide guitar-fuelled rock number, which will inevitably be a live favourite. Lead vocalist Aiym Almas truly showcases her stunning voice and impressive range during the heartfelt “Too High”. The song’s hypnotic guitar riffs, tight groove and catchy hooks simply sweep you away.
The formidable partnership of Rosie Botterill and Sarah Michelle is highlighted during the somewhat ethereal number “Silence”. The track features some superb twin part guitar harmonies as well as a searing guitar solo that Slash himself would be proud of.
One of the tracks featured on Gemini which stands out as being a bit different from the rest of the band’s material is “Use You”. The rather sultry number starts with Aiym’s spellbinding vocal over a slow bass line from Baldwin and a tight drum groove from Mylee. As the song builds it develops with a beautiful guitar conversation between Rosie Botterill and Sarah Michelle; the pair comes together seamlessly and effortlessly.
It’s fair to say that things haven’t always been easy for Dorja, the band have had many obstacles to overcome to get to this point. Since the release of “Fire” back in 2016, it feels as though the now regrouped band has become stronger than ever and as a result, they have now found their definitive sound.
With Dorja’s debut album, there is not one weak song on the record, no fillers, you don’t find yourself skipping songs but just listening to and enjoying this glorious long player in full. It may have been a long time coming but Gemini was certainly worth the wait.