Dog Society got its start in the Nineties touring with Stone Temple Pilots, Sheryl Crow, and Mighty Mighty Bosstones. They landed a major label debut, Test Your Own Eyes, with East-West/Atlantic Records, but then took a hiatus.
Fans of Dog Society will be ecstatic, then, when they learn that not only has the band returned, but they've brought something very special with them. Their new album, co-produced by Rob Schnaapf and Tom Rothrock who has produced the likes of Beck and Elliot Smith, is called Emerge, and it will be released tomorrow, Tuesday, November 19th; and, frankly, it has something that I -- a composer by education -- wish more bands had today: well-crafted melodies and raw talent that does not need heavy LogicPro processing to piece together.
Their Nineties roots can certainly be heard in their new effort with its shimmering acoustic guitars played in a clean unadorned recording in which they play complex but beautiful chord progressions, as in their song Shade Grown -- sometimes reminiscent of the acoustic bent of Alice In Chains' Jars of Flies -- or their song Aleja, which reminds me of STP's Led Zeppelin cover of Dancin' Days from Purple; but the trace of Nineties is only a foundational element. They don't stop there. They span everything from psychedelic Beatles (Pink Sun) to modern folk reminiscent of Elliot Smith or even a little pop folk (A Good Friend), but -- in the case of A Good Friend -- with a blistering chorus that rocks like any former '90s grunge veteran would know how to do. Their slow rocker Spaceboots was a highlight for me: its unusual textures add a wild palette of colors that lead smoothly into a great sludge rock hook in the chorus. I'm hearing everything from David Bowie to Soundgarden to Sean Lennon in probably one of the best tracks of the album. The final track, Salt, with its CCR Fortunate Son-like guitar riff -- but in a mellower, lighter acoustic environment -- concludes the album beautifully.
Dog Society absorbs, synthesizes, and reinterprets several decades of American rock and roll in a way that few bands could do today. Check out Emerge. It's definitely worth your time.
You can stream the entire album here at their Bandcamp page.
The video below features their song Nothing Too Big. The audio you're hearing was the direct-in recording -- no bells or whistles added -- from the live performance.