With Dr. Dog’s latest collection of songs, Be the Void (out now on Anti-), there’s a renewed commitment to the party-jam sound that fans of this Philly-area band have loved for over a decade. According to guitarist/vocalist Scott McMicken, the group looked for inspiration in “music that got its roots in live expression rather than that studio-perfected sort of vibe.” A refreshing thought indeed. With the soulful vocals of McMicken and heartfelt harmonies provided by the rest of the six-member group, their funky, indie-rock outlook veers happily into psychedelic meanderings throughout the 12 tracks. The album kicks off with a solid groove on “Lonesome,” where audience participation is encouraged as always with handclaps and callbacks. A slower pulse beats in “How Long Must I Wait,” with a steel drum setting off the playful percussion. “Big Girl” is classic Dog, with a foot-stomping beat digging deep into country rock with Sha-na-na vocals and a wailing guitar solo. A stripped down acoustic vibe presents the rollicking tune, “Over Here, Over There.” Wayward electronic blips introduce the rambling, fuzzed-out composition “Warrior Man” before capping off the album with the twangy guitar of “Turning the Century.”

-Jane Jansen Seymour


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