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The Daily Tar Heel

Music Review: Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog.
Psychedelic Rock

It’s hard to believe that the latest release from Pennsylvania rock band Dr. Dog is its eighth album. Based on its humble beginnings, it’s surprising that the band has managed to transform its psych-folk sound into such an extensive catalogue. B-Room is a consistently catchy yet sometimes uninspiring twelve-track collection that will certainly please longtime fans of the band. If you haven’t found something to like with Dr. Dog yet, you probably won’t here.

Dr. Dog slightly tweaks its formula this time with soul influences and a rougher sound. “The Truth” kicks the record off spiritedly, employing more of a slower, throbbing rhythm and piano. The song reaches a crescendo as a whole chorus joins in for a rousing finish to a great opener.

The rest of the album’s first half is hit-or-miss. “Too Weak to Ramble” is a strong effort that features only a guitar and lead vocalist Toby Leaman. Still, some tracks like “Broken Heart” have too many things going on at once, muddling the instrumentation and becoming a jumbled mess.

The second half of B-Room is where the band hits its stride. “Long Way Down” effectively uses distorted vocals and exploding trumpets for a fantastically stirring track. “Twilight,” the band’s inventive take on a sort of lullaby, completely goes in the opposite direction, but is hauntingly beautiful with its scratchy arrangement.

Dr. Dog, however, is at its best in the final three-track stretch. Ranging from rambling country-rock to sing-along bluesy folk, all are standouts.

The band won’t be blowing anyone away with B-Room, but Dr. Dog provides enough creative distinction to remain fresh and relevant in the indie rock world.

Mac Gushanas

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