Dr. Dog released “Be The Void,” a consistent addition to the band’s previous six albums, Feb. 7 under record label ANTI-.
“Be The Void” introduces few surprises, featuring Dr. Dog staples like classic guitar tones, piano-driven compositions, echoing vocals, punchy bass lines and Beach Boys-inspired, multi-part harmonies. The group has again achieved an enjoyable marriage of ‘60s pop and modern psychedelic folk.
Alternating lead vocals by bassist Toby Leaman and guitarist Scott McMicken keep the record’s 12 songs from sounding too much alike. The easiness and youth in Mcmicken’s tenor voice complements the tragedy and woe in Leaman’s bellows.
“That Old Black Hole” and “Do The Trick” stand out as the album’s best songs, having the signature Dr. Dog sound, immediately catchy chorus melodies and high energy.
The record has a theme of repetitive but pleasant guitar riffs, noticeable in “Lonesome,” “How Long Must I Wait” and “These Days,” which mimics the gruff vocals and danceable bass line for which The Strokes are famous.
Dr. Dog ends with “Warrior Man” and “Turning The Century.” Both songs evoke memory of the Beatles, through carefree vocals and experimentation with sitar, and are strong album closers.
A lack of memorable, impactful songs is arguably the biggest flaw of Dr. Dog’s releases and “Be The Void” is no exception. Although it is yet another well-produced, fun album, it falls short of changing listeners’ lives or revolutionizing the world of music.