First of all thanks to my brother, I have a great album in my life. Secondly, I'm probably gonna do a lot of musician name dropping in this album review so if you can't keep up don't worry, all you need to do is know this album is incredible and you should buy it right now.
Dr. Dog "Fate"
Most importantly, this album grows on you, like an innocent fungus. You might hear it and say "Eh, its alright." Then you listen again and you start tapping your foot. By the third time you start singing the awkward and shaky lyrics as if they are coming out of your own heart. This band dances across several genres of music tip toeing the line of a Beatles, Bright Eyes, Black Crows, Steve Miller, and several novelty sounds such as ragtime and television themes. They transition so well from the delicate comments on life right into open heartfelt confessional exclamations.
Here's a break down of this earhole adventure song by song.
The first song, "The Breeze" is a peculiar pop ballad with crazy "Ooh Bop Bops" and doo wop bassline that sounds like Bright Eyes (a band of sorts) on a happy planet. You kind of wonder where you're in for next.
The second track "Hang On" is driving southern slide guitar rock wailing confession that breaks into a Queen like solo "Why you think we need Amazing Grace just to tell it like it is" is my favorite lyric, and I definitely rear my head back when I sing it.
The next song "The Old Days" starts of with an ancient piano jumpstart, and then goes into some sort of medieval rock sprawling controlled mess that tumbles down a hill into a spastic river and comes up out of the water sounding like a frantic saloon wild western ragtime freakout. Yeah, its that good.
"Army of Ancients" (track 4)is a crazy soulful R n B style sort crooner ballad with trumpets abounding and all. Its one of those songs you want to stand up and sing while stamping one foot and raising one hand in a hallelujah.
"The Rabbit, The Bat, & The Reindeer." (Track 5)This is my favorite song on the album. I can't explain it much, but it has a crazy tv sitcom catchy quality that reminds me of Steve Miller Band at times. I feel like if you could mix the Full House theme song with "Keep on Rockn Me Baby" you would get this song.
"The Ark" (Track 6) Has a very The Beautiful Girls (a band) feel to it and also reeks of the Dark Side of the Moon. I think the bass player earns his bacon on this one, while the harmonizing lends a very 70's psychedelic feel. Watch out for this sleeper it'll getcha!
The 7th track "From" Starts off sounding like a diary entry by a 16 year old boy, but as the song unfolds it starts to sound more and more like the Beatles, and most everyone knows I hate the Beatles, but this song is like they took all the qualities of a band I despise and extracted only the good ones, so in other words, if the Beatles didn't suck, this song is what they would sound like., and it sounds good!
"100 Years" (Number 8) is a dark thumping melody that reminds me of something so familiar, I can't figure it out though, it just feels like an old hooded sweatshirt.
"Uncovering the Old" (9) Just when you thought this album was settling in and might be hitting a pattern, this whacky song comes surfing in on a Partridge family wave holding Marcia Brady in one arm and a tambourine in the other.
"The Beach" (song 10) Sounds like a Hitchcock soundtrack and a Route 66 Roadhouse Bar jam had a baby. If you drink whiskey, drink whiskey to this song, thats all I have to say.
The last track "My Friend" starts off teasing you with the promise of something epic and all I can really say is that it has all the qualities of every song on the album in one, it really finishes the experience of the album off perfectly and leaves you with a feeling of completeness. It really two separate songs in one.
Now we'll just have to wait for what my brother thinks (email your comments to me Hal and I'll post them right in here ok?)
I put a lot of time into this review so hopefully it will encourage some of you to buy the album and experience it for yourself!