I was first introduced to Dr. Dog my senior year of high school. I was driving around with my friend and put them on. At this point I had never heard of them and at first I was like what the hell is this? He said it was Dr. Dog. It took me awhile to adjust to Dr. Dog, but when I did finally get their album and give them a chance I started to like what I heard. I started out with their newest album at the time, Fate; it was a decent album but it wasn’t my favorite. We All Belong was released a year earlier on the label Park the Van. Although it was the second album I heard it was the album that really got me into their music and indie rock in general.
Dr. Dog is a psychedelic rock band out of Philly. The bands lead guitarist Scott McMicken and bassist Toby Leaman alternate leading vocals on tracks, which is why you can hear two distinctly different voices throughout their albums. The band currently consists of 5 members, the other three are Zach Miller (keyboard), Frank McElroy (rhythm guitar), and Eric Slick (drums). They currently have 5 albums released, I have only listened to the last three though, so I couldn’t tell you anything about the other two.
The three albums I have listened two are the aforementioned two and their newest album Shame, Shame which was released last year on the label Anti. I am not a big fan of Fate so I not really going to talk about it, my favorite album is a toss up between Shame, Shame and We All Belong. Both of those albums I can listen to straight through with no problems. For the most part they have an old school feel to them; on We All Belong the production value wasn’t the best, so that could contribute to it. The band has a very laid-back approach to their music, some songs have up straight a capella harmonizing in them. The band frequently uses all five members to harmonize. Honestly Dr. Dog can put guitars, a keyboard, and drums together like no other band I’ve heard, I am relatively new to the rock genre though, so take that with a grain of salt I guess.
Of all the songs on both albums only two of them I feel are worth talking about, mainly because talking about anymore would make this already long post, ridiculously long. The first song I feel in love with was “Die Die Die”, a song that brings together to polar opposite ideas. In the song a man has lost his lover and he plunges into a great depression, “It turns out cigarettes can kill you, cause when you didn’t come back, every time that I thought of you, I smoked a whole pack, I was up to 17 packs a day, I was refueling too, about every hour or so, I drank a bottle of white mule.” The song continues and the man finally finds his lover in the afterlife, it was as if death was his sweet escape back to life, as he could no bear living without her anymore.
The second song is “The Girl”. It’s about a man who is living the fast life, “He sleeps in his shoes, dreaming of the worst, living dirty lies, believing in reverse.” And then came along “the girl”, a reason for any man to get his shit together. She was the reason he begins to turn his life around, “She came around, he was lost where she found him, The Girl.” She is what is keeping him from going back to the life where he wakes up wherever he passes out and can’t remember the night before. He knows that he may never be able to get her but at least if he cleans himself up he will at least have a chance. These songs are two deep ass songs in my opinion and I honestly love both of them.
Die Die Die