on February 7, 2012
Simply put Dr. Dog is my favorite band, finely crafting songs that mix modern lyricism with 60's pop melodies & lo-fi recording methods...
But with 'Be the Void', Dr. Dog changes up their sound a bit for a vibe more in tune with their live shows... loud & racious.
As usual though, this is an album you put on & leave on with plenty of high points...
'Old Black Hole' will have you striving to learn the words like REM's 'It's the end of the world as we know it'...
'How Long Must I Wait, Do The Trick, & Heavy Light' are wonderfully soulful love songs...
While 'These Days, Big Girl & Warrior Man' are just plain ol' groovy rockers...
If you're sick of what's on the radio & are looking for something authentic... some music to live with... do yourself a favor & buy this album along with the rest of their catalogue. These guys are the real deal.
on February 25, 2012
Dr. Dog are one of those bands that wear their heart on their sleeve. They write songs that seem instantly recognizable, yet are wholly and completely from Dr. Dog's slightly psychedelic, slightly melancholy universe. Since 2007s We All Belong, Dr. Dog have built a very strong and dedicated fanbase. They've also amassed their share of naysayers for also wearing their influences proudly on their sleeves. The Band, Beach Boys, Beatles, Velvet Underground, Philly Soul and 90s lo fi bands like Sebadoh, Pavement, and Guided By Voices have haunted the songs of Dr. Dog from the start, beginning with their eponymous debut Toothbrush. Despite backlash, naysayers and generally cranky, bitter idiots, Dr. Dog have returned with their best album to date, Be The Void.
`Lonesome' starts the album out with the line "What does it take to be lonesome, nothin' at all", then proceeds to get into some slide guitar blues swoon, gutter stomp rhythms and call and response background vocals that gives this song something Dr. Dog have only hinted at in the past: swaggar. They've often hinted at this sort of track in the past but never fully commited. A great track to start things out on. `That Old Black Hole' keeps things going with it's infectious rhythm, courtesy of Eric Slick, and an almost jubilant rolling chorus. `These Days' rolls in with the most modern sounding track to date for Dr. Dog. A fast, upbeat track with a constant, pulsating bass line from Toby Leaman and a great piano line. If the Strokes could write something that wasn't ironic or tongue-in-cheek, then they might be able to pull this excellent track off. But they can't. Dr. Dog can, and do with vigor. `How Long Must I Wait' follows with a great, almost caribbean vibe. Scott McMicken has such a great longing to his vocals. This is an absolutely great track. One of their best to date.
The album never lets up. With the McMicken/Leaman vocal trade offs every other song(something they've done every album) it keeps things moving quickly and keeps the listener waiting for what's coming next. There's also a real dance-y vibe to these songs. They seem to have fully embraced their 70s Philly Soul roots and have let drummer Eric Slick give these songs the groove they've always longed for. There's not a bad song on this album. The last half of Be The Void holds the biggest surprise, though. `Warrior Man' starts out with glitchy computer sounds then falls into a T.Rex vibe and riff and turns into a glam rock groove extravaganza. A Girlfriend-era Robert Quine-like frenzied freak out guitar solo takes this track to the stratosphere.'Turning The Century' finishes the album out with a sitar, dobro and a beautiful descending melody with McMicken singing "I been singing for so long, I go from door to door, but it ain't the song I'm singing for", thus ending what will surely be one of the best records to bless our ears in 2012.
Be The Void feels like the most consistent and modern record from Dr. Dog to date. Tracks like `These Days', `How Long Must I Wait' and especially `Warrior Man' have opened the doors of possibility even wider for these Philly boys. If you don't like Dr. Dog, check to make sure you have a pulse.
Now flip the record, lay the needle down, and Be The Void. Repeat.
on March 1, 2012
This album like all or their albums is one you hit play on and never even consider skipping ahead. I bought this album without hearing a single song off the album, I just knew it was going to be great, not disappointed at all. I highly raved about their last album Shame Shame, but found myself not liking it as much as I first initially thought- I thought it was superior to Fate, but after much thought, Fate was the better album. This album I will not try and elevate it to that standard yet, because it is still new. I love this band and have seen them several times live and look forward to seeing them again next week- they have the best live show of any band nowadays. There is such an intimate raw sound to their music that is reminiscent of the Band, they have such a great live show that when you leave you look forward to seeing them again, last time I almost drove 300 miles to see their next show. I say all of this because this album really captures their live sound really well, I suggest you buy this album and then go buy the rest of their albums you will not be disappointed.
on June 14, 2012
I saw them live, opening for Wilco during their "Fate" touring. They were fantastic live and I didn't have a clue who they were. Now we own most of their work. I love the lyrics and the driving bass lines. Vocals are fun and they are full of energy.
Buy this album and try to see them live, and then you will get it.
Dr. Dog know how make a great pop song, and when you listen to them, you know that you are in the hands of true craftsmen. The music is creative, bursting with melody, and loose and--at times--funky. The references to classic rock and Beatles are still there, and that is a good thing, but Dr. Dog sound more and more like themselves as time goes by, and Be The Void is simply a fun listen from moment one to moment last. "These Days" is one of the coolest pop songs I've heard in a while, with a driving guitar hook on the front end that gets in between your bones and has you moving. Do I detect a little channel of Is This It era Strokes here? I think I do, but it doesn't sound like theft so much as just really good rock and roll by folks who know what they are doing. "Big Girl" is another standout track for me, with a stomiping bass groove and early Bowiesque vocals. The whole listen is consistently high, always surprising--Dr. Dog have not lost their ability to surprise, in a good way--and compulsive. The only problem with the cd is that I keep hitting play when it is finished to listen to it again! I'm driving my wife a little crazy with it. Great record by a great Philly band.
on September 20, 2014
Side A (first 6 songs) may be the best side of any album in my collection. The whole album is a winner and it sounds great on vinyl. Can't stop listening to these songs. I bought the record for "Lonesome" and "That
Old Black Hole" but then found that the whole album is as toe-tapping, sing-along catchy as those songs. It's hard to believe that everyone hasn't heard of and doesn't love this band.
on February 9, 2012
I started listening to these guys when they were on tour for Easy Beat and I was hooked immediately after seeing them live. Each album has been a blessing and Be the Void is no different. Do yourself a favor and go see them when they are on tour in your area! It's very likely you will fall in love. These guys are authentic and they play from the heart.
on September 6, 2012
The first time I heard Dr. Dog, I was like, "Wtf? this is amazing." The originality of this band is what creates that amazingness. Some one asked me who they were one day, and the only thing I could answer was, "Some weird, low-fi band from Philly." That is when it struck me that I could think of no other band or style to compare them to, and realized they were truly original.
Dr Dog did not disappoint with their new album. As their first one produced outside of their home, they did a great job holding on to "Dr Dog", while at the same time evolving it. Great album, Great Band.
on September 14, 2013
If you're just getting into Dr. Dog I recommend it, because it's a bit more accessible then their earlier stuff, which I personally like better. Not saying this album doesn't have great tracks.I really like "Heavy Light" "Get Away" "That Old Black Hole" "Do The Trick" "How Long Must I wait", and "Turning The Century". Some of the other tracks just lack the great lyrics I love Dr. Dog for.
As for the casing, it's not as creative as other Dr. Dog albums. So you're not missing out if you download it.
on May 22, 2012
I was browsing Youtube one day, and Dr. Dog pops up with a live performance at Guitar Center. I decide to watch the video, and found myself clicking through all of Dr. Dog's video collection. Very good band, great potential. Be the Void is an album that displays a group of friends who seem to love what they do and do not care what others may think of them. They are extremely creative, and lyrically underrated. Great album!