Dr. Dog meets ‘Fate’

IUS Horizon

Dr. Dog has dug through the bones of classic rock, a genre that has left a permanent influential stain on popular music, and used what they found to reinvent and in some ways, cultivate a sound so refreshingly reminiscent.

With “Fate,” Dr. Dog’s fifth album, the band continues to skillfully pay homage to ’60s greats, through breezy melodies and lo-fi recording techniques, but in their own harmonizing way.

For the last few decades, through advances in technology, American pop has drifted in many directions experimenting with new sounds, styles and recording techniques.

More recently, ideas have run dry. Music has become stale, over-produced and lacks the creativity once so prevalent.

The Raconteurs, Cold War Kids, the Black Keys and My Morning Jacket, all of which have toured with Dr. Dog, are new cats using old tricks.

Music is being brought back to the basics and “Fate” will only help guide the transition.

“Let go of the old ones we’ve got some new ones,” bassist Toby Leaman, aka Tables said as he channels a Neil Young type vocal tone on “The Old Days.”

The track breaks into a muddy bass-filled chorus covered with transient harmonizing vocals reminiscent of the Four Aces version of “Mr. Sandman.” The song soon breaks into a wild circus type cotton-eyed jam, violins and all.

The album shifts in a slightly darker direction with the “The Ark.” Opened with a pulsating Pink Floyd-ish bass line, “The Ark” combines a “Yer Blues” style guitar riff and fate-filled, eye-reddening lyrics that lead up to the screaming Lennon-like climax, in which Leaman said, “I know because I can and I will.”

“The Beach” displays an eerie bass and kick shuffle accompanied by pyschadelic organ tones and reckless Buddy Guy-type vocals that swerve around lyrics of fate and bottles of bourbon becoming “dry as a bone.”

While Dr. Dog seems to test new waters with much of “Fate,” songs like “The Breeze,” “From,” and “Army of Ancients” showcase the groups characteristic use of blanketing Beach Boy harmonies and bittersweet piano melodies.

Staff Writer