Dr. Dog

We All Belong | Park the Van
By WERNER TRIESCHMANN  |  March 6, 2007
2.0 2.0 Stars

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Beatle-esque is the word that comes up time and again in describing the shaggy melodic pop of Dr. Dog. Yes, this five-piece band from Philadelphia do have a fondness for harmonies, just as the Beatles did. And prior to the sessions for We All Belong, Dr. Dog were inventive in their manner of making the absolute best of lo-fi eight-track recording. But whereas the Beatles grew into masters of bigger and better studios, Dr. Dog’s first proper studio album still sounds as if it had been recorded in someone’s basement. Not that that’s a bad thing: Dr. Dog have always had a way with skewed melodies, and We All Belong has plenty of those. The lovely title track opens with upbeat, percussive piano before the harmonies swoop in and a buzzing guitar delivers its jolt. And those vocal harmonies are used to good effect in the blue-eyed-soul tune “Alaska.” But “Die Die Die,” a slow and raggedy piece of psychedelia complete with funereal organ but thrown askew by out-of-place handclaps, is far too taken in by its own gloom. It comes as a warning of sorts: when Dr. Dog miss their mark, they miss it by a mile.

 

 

 

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