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Dr. Dog - New EP - Takers & Leavers

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Recently, Philadelphia’s masters of low-fi pop rock, Dr. Dog, released a limited edition EP called Takers & Leavers. The CD is a bit hard to come by in stores, being that there were only one thousand copies produced, each with varying and unique cover art. However, the CD is available to order through their website www.drdogmusic.com. Now if this is the first time you have heard of Dr. Dog I suggest you go out and buy their first major release Easy Beat… seriously I’ll wait, its that good. For those of you who might have heard about Dr. D opening for such indie elite as Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, My Morning Jacket, The Cold War Kids, The Magic Numbers, The Black Keys and The Raconteurs, you can see that they keep good company.

Takers & Leavers is a taste of their forthcoming full length, which is set for released in February. The EP’s opening two tracks will be feature on their next album, both of which (Ain’t it Strange and Goner) foreshadow great things to come with their rich tapestries of vocal and instrumental layering. This step forward can be attributed to Dr D’s choice of twenty-four-track recording, rather than the standard eight track they used prior. Some critics…pitchfork… have laid into Dr. Dog for being too obvious about wearing their influences on their sleeve, e.g. The Beatles, and being too backwards thinking in their delivery. First of all, if your rock band doesn’t hold some likeness in sound to The Beatles’ extensive catalogue, than either you’re doing something wrong or you’re Radiohead. Also, with bands doing a pastiche of The Beatle (Oasis, The Redwalls) I see no problem with Dr. Dog putting out a low-fi, Let It Be-B side with Beach Boy harmonies, in fact I commend them for it.

The fact of the matter is, their music is so passionate and personal that one can't help but feel a kinship with the band, its like a hug coming through your headphones. As they sing in Die, Die, Die about "building a heaven where you died in my arms," you have to be a complete cynic not to undergo the emotional breakdown that you can hear wrenching the singer heart as he plaintively wails. (I was almost moved to tears when I saw them perform it live.) Even when they tackle the overly familiar territory of West Coast bliss in California, you feel the sun on your face, the breeze at your back, and the wine in your belly as the soft and sweet melody rings in your ears. Finally, as the band's bardic ramblings bring the EP to a close, you realize that this is Dr. Dog's personal postcard to you, and they send it hoping all is well, wishing you the best, and giving you their deepest love and appreciation.

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P.S. "thank you, take off your eye shades, and please sing along."