Dr. Dog has been around for a number of years now delivering some very impressive deeply psychedelic roots rock. It is the kind of music that finds its way into indie movie soundtracks and on road trip playlists of friends attempting to impress. You see, Dr. Dog is an acquired taste for most, but what really draws in hardliner fans must be the unrestrained heights that some of their anthems can reach. Dr. Dog’s latest album Be The Void is yet another quality collection of songs from the Pennsylvania based band. Some may be more inundated with another reboot rock band which is more well-known, called The Sheepdogs. The problem with any comparisons between these two bands is that they both relying heavily on the influence of a past for musical style, but you can tell it is a different wedge of the same wheel of well-aged cheese both bands nibble on. That being said, Be The Void is a diverse and likable album which has hints of contemporaries such as Fleet Foxes in their track Get Away and Vampire Weekend in Heavy Light.
As with other bands before them Dr. Dog ascribes to the philosophy of sharing the lead vocals in order to create diverse musical sound from track to track. Two singers also have the practical benefit of not having all of the weight of performing on one set of vocal cords. The result of swapping lead singer duties is done to great effect by front men Leaman and McMicken. Both singers 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. The result is very engaging for the listener.
Be The Void has a number of memorable songs that strike at the core of what this genre of music should head towards in the future. The only issue is that this album is not the band’s best work and at album number six fans of Dr. Dog might have to brace themselves for the unfortunate creative plateau that almost every band eventually faces. If you really want to hear Dr. Dog at their height listen to 2008’s Fate.