Friday, April 24, 2009

Contest:: Dog Day CD release party tix and disc

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Dog Day
made a pretty big splash with their 2007 Tomlab release, Night Group (review) and we've all been waiting anxiously for the follow up. Well, wait no longer friends as May 1st marks the official release party for the new record, Concentration.

So, lets cut to the chase. We have two (2) prize packs up for grabs. Both winners get a copy of the new LP + tix to the May 1st show @ Reflections. All you have to do is drop us an email (herohill AT gmail DOT COM) or leave your contact info in the comments. All in all, not much effort required for some sweet booty.


So how is the new record? Well, both Shane and I listened to it and both instantly thought it was better, more consistent and more mature. We both also thought those generic descriptors weren't really enough to fill the word quota we have here on the hill, so we called in the biggest Dog Day fan we know to get his 2 pennies worth. Malcolm Rodgers - number 5 in the program and number 1 in your heart - is the drummer for Covalent Bond and he sat down with the record and jotted down some talking points for us.

So, without further ado:
Happiness - This apocalyptic-themed LP starts off with a very catchy grown-up cousin to the more angst-y Lydia from the first album. It's a great indication that the band is more comfortable in their skin and perhaps with their popularity. The ‘wooo hooo’ chorus is reminiscent of Blur’s Song 2 chorus in syllablyage only. It is Blur Song 2 sung by the rocks on Peggy’s Cove in a typical Nova Scotia downpour. Dog Day could make a career out of 2 minute rockers like this and I’m sure their fans like me would be totally content.

Neighbour - is a song that could have very well fit on the Lakeview Terrace soundtrack (ed.note - I'm guessing no one still watches Samuel Jackson flicks, so I included a link to make sure every gets the reference). Is this a creepy stalker song, or a love-struck neighbor song? Regardless of the message, a song like this I could hear almost sounding better with an acoustic setup with a more hushed tone and Casey Spidle on brushes. Nancy Urich is really showing a more confident vocal performance this time around.

Wait it Out - reminds me the most of the previous album. The music to this song contrasts the lyrics, which are very claustrophobic and again about a bad relationship gone ugly. Songs like this really hit you in the gut and make you wonder what it must be like to be in a band of 2 couples. Are these songs about their relationships? The lyrics hint all around something much darker without ever fully giving away the ending.

Stray - producer John Agnello really shines through here. A band like Dog Day doesn’t need the “brights brightened” but benefits form having the “darks brightened”. The chugging of the guitar alongside Spidle’s bass drum is very hypnotic here, and the maturity of the band comes through here more than elsewhere on the record. Have Dog Day made a love song? I’m sure someone could listen and think the opposite.

Saturday Night - A beautiful song about the enjoyment but also emptiness of a drunken night on the town. “Cold blooded, have you had enough yet?” This album fights the constant battle of messages of “living for the moment” meeting the “what is the point anyway?”. The chatter of a bar is heard near the end of the song and you can almost picture seeing the band playing to a rambunctious crowd at the Seahorse. Seth Smith's vocals have a way of growing on you, and bring me back to John Wozniak’s efforts with Marcy Playground.

Rome - In my opinion Rome is the most epic song Dog Day has produced. It is probably my favorite as well. You again see the band getting much more confident and while they could have easily ended at the 3 minute mark, the cacophony they unleash is just as memorable as the meat of the song. Whereas Nero fiddled whilst Rome burned, the lovers in this song won’t let the fire burn to ashes.

You won’t see me on Sunday - A nice pop song about the sometimes engulfing nature of love. The couple in this song have all they need, and all they need is Love J. They find solace in each other and in singing to one another, and that is the reason you won’t see them on Sunday. The slogan of P90x comes to mind “do your best and forget the rest”.

Judgment Day - The theme of religion appears again here, as “Heaven is expensive, Hell is free” but “I won’t be afraid when it comes my time”. The confident vocal delivery though is countered by a musical backing this very dark and foreboding. I really like the contrast in themes between Judgment Day and You won’t see me on Sunday.

Youth of Destruction - A message to the youth of today. Something rather interesting about this trilogy of songs on the album (“You Won’t..”, “Judgment Day”, “Youth of”). I really like when Seth sings,“Do whatever you want, don’t get carried away.” After the ying and yang of the previous two tracks, you can hear a message of staying true to yourself, because you’re going to hear a lot of mixed messages along the way (even on this CD as it turns out). This trilogy of songs brought me way back to Sonic Youth’s epic trilogy on their Daydream Nation album (The Wonder/Hyperstation/Eliminator Jr.) and the disillusionment evoked there.

Don’t worry about the Future - continues with the apocalyptic theme. It is much more of an interlude type song, and while it continues the theme of the album nicely, it sticks out for me as probably the weakest point on an otherwise very good album.

Peace - Ending with an introspective number, Seth attempts to find peace. The message of thinking too much can be harmful is hammered home with solid percussion (love the haunting ride bell work).

So there you have it, a very solid effort by Dog Day. I was very impressed by their ability this time around to evoke a solid message or concept by more closely intertwining the songs than their previous album. The drumming by one of my favorite drummers Casey Spidle was another highlight as well as the pleasant surprise of the Ulrich vocals. While not every song was a knock out of the park, I am very excited to hear these songs live as well as to see what direction the band takes next.

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Posted at 8:57 AM by ack :: 3 comments

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At 11:44 AM, Blogger naedoo did sayeth:

MRC is in the building!

"It is Blur Song 2 sung by the rocks on Peggy’s Cove in a typical Nova Scotia downpour." - Boom goes the blog-o-mite!


At 1:21 PM, Blogger Megadan did sayeth:

Good review, but how does it sound? I'm not interested in lyrics. Last time I saw them it was pretty heavy. Interested to hear if this record follows that.


At 4:41 PM, Anonymous iddy did sayeth:

If you're lyrically interested in more information on at least one of the two couples in Dog Day, I'd suggest checking out Husband & Knife's An End. Not that that's the only reason to check it out.


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