In Be The Void, Philadelphia band Dr. Dog is back with more of their catchy, rhythmic rock. This album is mostly in line with their previous six releases, but at points it becomes a little more raucous, a little more raw. The lo-fi quality is not a step backwards by any means, though.
One of the best tracks is “That Old Black Hole,” on which Scott McMicken sings, “I don’t rock the boat, but it’s always unsteady,” and that pretty accurately describes this album. The music has their signature 1960s influence, with the Dr. Dog spin that gives it a special touch. The opener, “Lonesome” is a standout, with its rowdy proclamation that it takes “Nothing at all” to be lonesome somehow turning loneliness into a good time. In this case, the repetition of the jangly riff and chorus is welcome. Unfortunately, some of the songs feel like an attempt to recreate the anthem-like material on We All Belong, but they just end up getting repetitive. “These Days” avoids this pitfall, and, as the third song, it rounds out the strongest part of the album, the opening. That said, the rest of the album is absolutely worth a listen (or two, or three).
As expected, this new batch of Dr. Dog tunes is upbeat and enjoyable, and will surely make for a fun live show, so I suggest you check them out if they perform near you on this tour. They will be at the 9:30 Club in DC on March 16th, and hopefully I will too.
-Tess O’Connor, host of Tunes with Tess, Tuesdays 2-3pm on WGTB