On the surface it might seem like Shame, Shame is more of the same from Dr. Dog, and in many ways it is. They still sound basically the same and still write great rock tunes straight out of the early '70s. But there are some key differences from their past albums as well. They've brought in an ….
Feelin’ good Considering how friendly Dr. Dog’s music is, it’s hard to believe the band has proved so divisive. Hating on the Philadelphia quintet is like beating up the neighborhood kids who spend all summer riding bikes and building forts—you may feel older and wiser, but who’s having a better time than them? The band’s sun-drenched, feel-good vibe belies songs as full of personal conviction as those of any acoustic-strumming bleeding heart.
Philadelphia's Dr. Dog occupy an unlikely middle ground between retro jam band world and indie hipster land. They come across as dudes who don't care much about being hip but have been adopted by cool kids impressed by their legendary live shows and solid chops. A combination of Auto-Tune backlash and laptop-rock fatigue has helped create an environment where musicianship and rich harmonies are once again selling points, which is absolutely fine by us.
After a host of acclaimed underground records, it can worry the devoted fans of a band to hear that their heroes are roping in an outside influence for their latest effort: it smacks of one last throw of the dice, a seemingly blatant attempt to snatch some mainstream attention or call it quits. It might have worried followers of Philadelphian rockophiles Dr. Dog then, when they heard that producer Rob Schnapf had been signed up to sit at the helm of the band’s latest long-player, after the pure psychedelic wondrousness of their previous efforts.
It’s hard to believe that Dr. Dog have been around for so long. Shame, Shame is actually their sixth album. For a long while, their efforts simply got lost amidst the huge array of “just okay” indie-pop bands. Their previous release, however, 2008’s Fate, finally started breaking away from ….
After five offerings that refused to play outside of the same clumsy shadow of 1960s rock fetishism, Dr. Dog proved to be one of the most stubbornly stuck-in-their-way bands of recent memory. Previous release Fate seemed to be a step in the right direction-- cleaner production, more attention paid to songwriting instead of bland jamming-- but the songs still registered as lazy and reheated in an uncomfortably boring way.
When Dr. Dog burst onto the scene with Easy Beat in 2005, I staunchly supported their rootsy Psychedelphia sound. When the kids cried “Wings ripoff,” I countered “Aviophobia!” (fear of flying). When they played Bonnaroo and the kids cried “Hippies,” I countered “Agoraphobia!” (fear of crowds).
DR. DOG"Shame, Shame" (Anti-) Dr. Dog, the Philadelphia indie-rock band that released its first album in 2001, is already feeling its age. “Where’d All the Time Go?” asks one song title (and opening line), and it’s a recurring notion throughout “Shame Shame,” the band’s new album. .