Dr. Dog

B-Room

ANTI-

Oct 03, 2013 Issue #47 - September/October 2013 - MGMT Bookmark and Share


Dr. Dog has gotten to the point where its songs sound effortless. It's not about intricate constructionalthough there's nothing sloppy or flawed about any of these songsbut rather a mood. Scott McMicken, the lead guitarist and vocalist, explains it like this: "The sound creates a feeling that is intuitive rather than intellectual."

Turning on B-Room makes the problems melt away. Life is instantly sunnier. The songs here swing by, sometimes with an old soul vibe, other times more upbeat, but always with the easygoing attitude that feels like the perfect summer day on a hammock.

The Philadelphia-based band recorded the album in a brand new studio they built from the ground up in an old silversmith mill. Perhaps leaving behind the studio they'd recorded in for eight years is what gave them the freedom that's reflected in the spontaneous nature of these songs.

Between fiddle solos, layered harmonies streak across the effervescent chorus on the country twang of "Phenomenon." "You're always leaving," McMicken sings, "But you're never gone/You're everywhere at once/Like a true phenomenon." It's simple, it's relatable, and it's everything we've come to expect from a band that seems to churn out endless songs that reminisce about the '60s, but remain rooted in modern times.

Dr. Dog gets funky on "Love," reprising some of the sharp, jangly pop music they perfected on 2012's Be the Void, but the band also displays a much more mellow side in the ballad "Too Weak to Ramble" and the twisted lullaby of "Twilight."

The first single, "The Truth," is a slow-burning soul song, based in the very basics, from the languorous beat to the classic piano and synthesizers that hover in the background. It's one beautiful song on an album full of them. These tunes are ripe and ready for picking, the fruitful results of a band that grows infectious melodies by watering them with good instincts. (www.drdogmusic.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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