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Monday, September 15, 2008

Dr. Dog - Fate



Shallow as it sounds, it’s hard not to be instantly put off by a band with a name as abysmal as Dr. Dog. I mean, seriously, Dr. Dog? However, if such superficiality were allowed to prevail, then Arctic Monkeys would never have stood a chance, and so we persevere beyond the awful moniker to discover a quintet of Philadelphians offering a decent collection of psychedelic pop/rock with elements of country that sounds like it belongs in another time.

Fate alludes to the likes of The Beatles, The Band and The Byrds and, while at times it all sounds a little derivative, it has clearly been constructed with a genuine love of that era of music. Okay, so the gospel ballad Army of Ancients is clearly a nod to John Lennon and elsewhere things go a bit Sgt. Pepper, but this is not a rip-off, rather an homage to their influences, which offers some interesting moments like the folky The Breeze, which opens the album with lovely vocal harmonies over piano, harmonica and acoustic guitar.

Admittedly, the overt sense of reminiscence here does get a bit grating after a while, and one wonders why you wouldn’t just dust off your old vinyl in favour of this, but if you dip in and out of Fate then you’ll discover some pleasing tracks which certainly do justice to the bands they are inspired by. If nothing else, for a group whose sound is so stuck in the past, Dr. Dog should be applauded for just about avoiding sounding like a straight-up tribute act.

1 comment:

Emma Harrison said...

On the ball like a choo choo train.