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Original Release Date: 02/07/2012
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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5 Stars
Label: Anti Records

Following the release of six earlier albums and differentiating six album, incomparable to the band’s latest release, Dr. Dog revived the sound found on their debut release with their seventh album, Be The Void. The Philadelphia rockers hint at spirited, lively vibration they bring with their garage band sound, fleeing themselves from flaws discovered on earlier releases, a spot on homecoming as Dr. Dog enthusiastically and classically builds upon their roots with their second release through the ANTI- record label.

Clearly dealing with artists who are well-rounded and experienced, Dr. Dog wastes no time conveying their work of art of charismatic musicality and praised spirited artistry, borrowing freely from their past methods. Be The Void opens with a twangy, impressive anthem titled “Lonesome.” The subtle twang of the guitar, bluesy harmonica addition, carefree percussion performance hint that Dr. Dog knows the formula for success for a classic anthem, inclusive of lively, fun shouting lyrics to accompany the sometimes whiny, but still aurally pleasing vocals provided by the lead singer. “That Old Black Hole” switches gears a bit, in the sense of lyrical ambiguity (there are eggshells on the floor; therefore, I never touch the ground). The tendency of the lyricism to lack clarity appropriately fit though, as it is not necessarily the importance of the striking gibberish that only holds significance, but the way the words are presented — complete free verse, unexpectedly appreciative by listeners. Beginning with an engaging percussion breakdown accompanied by futuristic synthesizers echoing, immediately, “That Old Black Hole” is introduced as a jam, nodding your head becoming an inevitable fate. The harmonies, though consistently impeccable, are overpowered by the strength of the rhythm system. Driving a song is difficult, but driving a song into consistently increasing speed and maintaining such a pace lacks security, but impressively is successful.

With “These Days,” Dr. Dog strays from the importance of a heavy percussion section, though still subtly exposed, which the emphasis placed on the meticulous, masterful guitar playing. With minute percussion supporting the initial guitar jam, the energy pre vales because of the guitar’s piercing initiation. Even the addition of subtle piano chords fit the well-orchestrated production and favorable upbeat nature of “These Days.” Relinquishing any hints of whininess illustrated through the vocals, the lead singer defies stereotypes, not buried beneath the heavy production, but employs of a sense of strength, control, and dominance.

Those still may find themselves questioning Dr. Dog, but “Heavy Light” is the composition that emerges as the psyche-altering. Innovation extended at its finest, “Heavy Light” is different for Dr. Dog – not following their standard formula, but relying on the foundation provided by a piano riff, only building upon so. Immediately grabbing attention again is the percussion introduction, exposed parts that are masterfully performed, without any other accompaniment. However, the catchy hooks that force listeners to appreciate Dr. Dog do not necessarily require verbosity. Instead, the chorus solely consists of the lingering repetitiveness of “heavy light” remarkably combining a mixture of pop elements, Indian guitar consistencies, and vivacious piano and percussion instrumentation. Hitting the song’s coda, the harmonies drown out any further instrumentation, crashing down into a pivotal, powerful silence. Dr. Dog isn’t your average band, constructing an astoundingly innovative and creative record. The only bland moment occurs with “Do The Trick.” A disorganized production doesn’t help Dr. Dog as they attempt to breakthrough restraints. “Do The Trick” is overly repetitive and the chaotic, unorganized production value proves that though ambitious, more work is still needed to be done by them.

What resonates strongly about Be The Void is that it is easily perceived as an album that is meant to be performed. Each song is meant to be performed with an audience immersing itself in the music and innovativeness that is Dr. Dog. The emotional, positive vibrations are always accessible to the listeners, providing an escape for listeners that are seeking to remove themselves from their own entrapments. Dr. Dog presents an album that is overall jovial, capturing enthusiasm and pleasantness conclusively.