Dr. Dog – Fate

Rating: ★★★★½

When Dr. Dog released their second album, We All Belong, I hadn’t really heard much about them; that soon enough changed. Their blend of classic rock meets country meets indie pop had me cornered, and I didn’t mind it one bit. They follow that with the release of an album, Fate, that is more solid all the way through the album.

The fist thing I noticed on this album was that there was a lot more presence of the piano. Sure, it was there in the last album, but here it seems that the piano was the backbone of the writing process for this album, which, in all honesty, does wonders for the band. The melodies this time around are a lot stronger than on the previous efforts.

The first standout track was “The Old Days,” and everything about this song screams single. From the steady pace of the drum-mostly snare-to the splendid guitar work and piano accompaniment; then you can’t help but love the vocal progress of McMicken and Leaman. Then you follow that with “Army of Ancients” and you can tell the band is progressing. Whoever sings the majority of the aforementioned song really strains his voice, going to places I haven’t heard the band go before, and it completely works. It’s one of the more sincere songs I think the band has written.

From that point on, the album really just sticks up for itself. From the classic guitar work on “The Ark” to the more Motown-inspired “From,” one would be hard pressed to find a song that lets you down. Even when they slow it down, they are able to maintain the overall feel of this album without leading you somewhere else. And they close it all off with a rocker of a tune in “My Friend, which is just more classic rock appeal for your ears–and make sure you wait until about 3.3 minutes into the song because they mix it up perfectly–a sign of their progression.

I’m sure that you could fault this band for their lack of originality, for I feel as if I have heard these sounds many times before in my father’s record collection, but you can’t fault a band for that really. I mean, we all have to start at some point, and often that is our biggest influence, musically. I think the maturity on this album shows that Dr. Dog, despite their name, can keep coming back time and time again with great songs for ALL of us to enjoy.

Check out “The Old Days” off the new album now:

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/03-the-old-days-1.mp3]

Download: theolddays.mp3

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