Dr. Dog has returned with some new tunes that are blowing me away. The band’s newest album, Be the Void, was recently released on February 8 and it’s their sixth full-length in the past 10 years. Typically by this point in a band’s career, I’ve given up hope and lost interest in whatever they released, but these Pennsylvania indie pop-rockers have got me hooked.
Dr. Dog is a band that has found their sound and stuck to it. My one complaint about them is that, even though I thoroughly enjoy their albums, they all kind of sound the same and blend together. Though their music is mostly unoriginal, their consistent songwriting has made them a staple in popular Indie music today. It wasn’t until after their 2010 release of Shame, Shame that I actually understood what made these guys a force to be reckoned with.
With that being said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I didn’t expect much from their latest addition to their discography. Be the Void has me eating my words. Any thing negative I’ve said about Dr. Dog seems to have disappeared. The album combines the amazingly contagious up-beat chords and melodies the band has become known for and samples that vintage, some what lo-fi, live sound that can only be heard at their shows. At the same time, Be the Void also seems to be their most consciously planned and impeccably recorded album.
The only downside I can find in Be the Void is that the music is all incredible, but no lyrics specifically stand out. The album’s single, “The Old Black Hole,” is probably my least favorite. I say this because it’s what I expected their new music to sound like. It reminds me so much of Shame, Shame to the point that when I first heard it, I was disappointed. The other 11 tracks on the album individually shine out with uniquely different sound then the rest. Track eight, “Heavy Light” reminds me Architecture in Helsinki, but twisted and reformed into a more “pop” sound. “These Days” has a grungy piano-y pop/punk intro that instantly makes me want to dance. Album closer, “Turning the Century” has such an unexpected country twang that took me by surprise.
As a whole, I really love this album. Maybe more than Shame, Shame, but I’m not completely positive. If you like Dr. Dog, make sure you check them out at Buckhead Theater this Sunday, March 4.