Dr. Dog – Be the Void

13 Feb

Dr. Dog is a band that has released average to above average LPs since their formation in 1999 with the exception of their hard to come by first release, Psychedelic Swamp, which I have deemed unlistenable after multiple tries (though I’m told that don’t have the complete album).  Their seventh album released earlier this month, Be the Void, is entirely average.

Dr. Dog has always been a crafty late 60’s to mid 70’s pop/rock rehash outfit, but Be the Void finds them less crafty and more sloppy if not totally lazy.  Sure, you get expected doses of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Band and Mott the Hoople, but the album ends up feeling like a collection of misplaced, timeless pop/rock b-sides.  And Dr. Dog have never been considered “lyricists,” but I have never cringed more at the lyrics on any other Dr. Dog album.  The majority of the time the lyrics either don’t make any sense or they are so painfully stupid that I want to slap vocalists Scott McMicken and Toby Leaman.  It ruins otherwise passable tracks like “That Old Black Hole,”Do the Trick,” “Big Girl,” “Over Here, Over There” and don’t even get me started on “Warrior Man”…it has a funky potential until the buckshot shampooed chorus of “I am the ancient warrior man and I hail from the ancient warrior man clan.”

Unfortunately, Dr. Dog hasn’t been able to replicate any of the indie psych pop genius that they showed on 2005’s Easy Beat in tracks like “Oh No” and “Say Something.”  It’s not going to stop me from buying tickets to their live show in March at Northern Lights in Clifton Park, but I’m hoping that it’s a catalog show versus a new record promotional.

Noteworthy Tracks: “Lonesome,” “How Long Must I Wait”

Rating: ***

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