Be The Void (includes CD copy) (Vinyl)
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Vinyl LP pressing. Beloved Philadelphia band Dr. Dog release a staggering burst of vital rock n roll with their 2012 record, Be The Void. The album is the raucous follow up to the group s critically lauded Shame, Shame. Having evolved from a band whose primary creative outlet was the album making process into one that favored the energy of their live performances, Dr. Dog knew they wanted to document the new dynamic they had developed on the road. Tracking live in the studio and turning up the guitars, the band has delivered a truly great cathartic rock n roll album played with near reckless abandon and passion, blending their early punk infused energy with the songwriting craft that made Fate and Shame, Shame fan favorites. From the rollicking re imagined blues of the disc s title track to the searing guitars of "Vampire, " the frenetic urgency of "Over Here Over There" and the beautifully fuzzed out rock of "Warrior Man, " Dr. Dog s Be The Void is a truly great rock n roll record and the unmistakable sound of a band whose moment has arrived.
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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.
`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.
Buy this album and try to see them live, and then you will get it.