Left of the Dial: Dr. Dog’s B-Room


      On October 1st, 2013, the “psychedelic-folk”  band, Dr. Dog, released their new album entitled “B-Room.” It was the band’s eighth successful album since 1999, featuring 15 of their new songs. Dr. Dog’s overall sound is very distinct and therefore recognizable but “B-Room” has its own special allure and is subtly different from past albums.

The band is composed of Scott McMicken, Toby Leaman, Zach Miller, Eric Slick , Frank McElroy, and Dimitri Manos,  all of whom are from Pennsylvania. Although they are touring “B-Room” throughout the United States currently, the members normally reside and record in Philadelphia. In the past few years they have been able to build a new studio as well as a home by renovating an abandoned silversmith factory in the city. The title of their new album comes from the space in which they recorded it.

Dr. Dog’s music has a consistent yet always interesting feel to it. After listening to previous albums such as “Be The Void” and “Shame Shame,” one can clearly see how the band has been influenced by The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and even Pavement.  Although “B-Room” has been described as having a more unified sound and an especially soulful one, the album’s tracks are similar to Dr. Dog’s previous music with  its dynamic melodies accompanied by smart lyrics most of which are pleasantly catchy.

“The Truth” is the first track on the album and has already started to stick in listeners’ heads. The song has been happily picked up by many radio stations and is sure to be a hit. The steady groove of “Broken Heart” has become one of my personal favorites. “Too Weak to Ramble” is one of the more spare songs on the album with a painful truth to its lyrics. “Twilight”  is one of the less folk-like songs on the album, marked by a unique dreamy quality.

It’s delightful to see a band as accomplished as Dr. Dog continue to put out new, exciting work. After more than ten years, the band remains genuinely passionate about their music.  “B-Sides” definitely deserves 4 out of five stars. I highly recommend attending their live performances if given the chance. With their intricate light show and backdrops as well as their eccentric set, it is sure to be a worthwhile concert.

For more information on the band, their album, and new tour dates, visit http://www.drdogmusic.com/.