By Sarah Clifton

I Dont Know How But They Found Me — often shortened and stylized to iDKHOW — may be a band that is lost in time, but one thing is certain: frontman and sole member Dallon Weekes has found a talent-cementing hit with his latest record GLOOM DIVISION.

Weekes, formerly of the Salt Lake City band The Brobecks and later Panic! at the Disco, has been operating under the iDKHOW name since playing secret shows in the late 2010s when the group was in its infancy. Preceding the band’s first LP release, RAZZMATAZZ, the group employed cryptic storytelling in promotional materials and music videos to unfurl a story about a band from the late 70’s/early 80’s who was lost in time due to a sinister, looming corporation’s experiments.

Following the impact of the global pandemic, Weekes’ recent ADHD and autism diagnosis, and the departure of the former drummer in 2023, iDKHOW is back with an album fans have waited almost three and a half years for. Produced by Dave Fridmann, who has worked with big names like The Flaming Lips, MGMT, Phantom Planet, Spoon and Interpol, GLOOM DIVISION hit streaming platforms on Feb. 23 and strutted its way into the indie rock scene.

GLOOM DIVISION is a fitting follow-up to 2020’s RAZZMATAZZ, complete with Weekes’ signature wearing of his influences on his sleeve. Like the last record, loving homages to Weekes’ 80’s influences are integral to the sound, evident in tracks like the funky, bass-driven “GLOOMTOWN BRATS” and the Bowie-reminiscent “iDIOTS OF Oz,” but this installment features a more distinct focus on bringing a late 2000’s twist to 70’s swagger, particularly harkening to the sashay of glam rock through the lens of choppy, thumping riffs reminiscent of bands like Louis XIV on tracks such as “SPKOTHDVL” and “SATANIC PANIC.” Hints of the Strokes with Elvis Costello flair run through the album, namely on “KISS AND TELL.”

Quintessential Weekesian lyricism shines throughout the record, in particular on tracks like the funky disco-dance track “GLOOMTOWN BRATS” and the groovy Hall-and-Oates-esque “INFATUATION,” which tout snark-driven critiques of the more privileged, out-of-touch members of society and egomania, much like earlier releases like “Do It All the Time” and “Social Climb” did. The album also evokes Weekes’ penchant for writing about darker topics on tracks such as “SIXFT,” “FIND ME” and “KISS & TELL,” the first of which especially utilizes Weekes’ signature sinister drawl to create an intoxicating, lulling tune that can easily be seen as a blend of “From the Gallows” and “Mx. Sinister,” two previous iDKHOW releases. 

Continuing a trend from debut album RAZZMATAZZ, GLOOM DIVISION also features a remastered version of a song by Weekes’ previous group, The Brobecks. Where RAZZMATAZZ revitalizes “Clusterhug,” a song originally on The Brobecks’ 2012 EP Quiet Title, GLOOM DIVISION breathes new life into “A LETTER,” which has been a fan favorite for years, since Weekes makes playing the song an interactive venture at live shows. The vocalization between spoken-word parts is a recording taken from recent live performances of the song, emphasizing Weekes’ connection with his fans.

Weekes’ breadth of influences and lyrical exploits all coalesce to make a record that is hard to define genre-wise, and successfully broadens the scope of iDKHOW’s musical purview. GLOOM DIVISION has something for everyone, and cements iDKHOW as a project that, by virtue of its creativity, will be making a name for itself for years to come.
RATING: ⭑ ⭑ ⭑ ⭑