Dr. Dog | A Review of Shame, Shame

If you haven’t heard of Dr. Dog then you have been missing out on some of the best music being made today. Over the past nine years the psychedelic band has released five albums, some were good some were great and some were just amazing. On Shame, Shame the band distances itself from its other albums by delivering a more literal lyrical foundation for its songs. And you can hear this in tracks off of the album such as “Jackie Wants a Black Eye” and “Station,” two songs that truly feel like they come from a place of grounded honesty and pain. Another welcome return to form on Shame, Shame are the shared vocals between Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken, who also play lead guitar and bass. As with The Beatles before them Dr. Dog ascribes to the philosophy of sharing the lead vocals in order to create diverse sounding music and have the practical benefit of not having all of the vocal weight of performances on one set of vocal cords. The result of swapping lead singer duties from track to track is an impressive one, since Leaman and McMicken have such different voices, one has a very explosive gruff and gravelly feel to it, while the other is more piercing and boyish in tone.

With their new album Dr. Dog continues to impress, the melodies and harmonies of this album stand up to anything they have done in the past. The towering anthems are still there and so is the 1960s pop rock psychedelic influence. And as a band that came to be known (at least at first) for their use of lo-fi, have continued to refine their studio albums to the point where they reflect accurately the energy and feel of their live performances. Dr. Dog has quietly been writing some of the best music of the 00s and has become an important contributor to what defines the musical scenery of the age we live in.

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