Release Date: Feb 5, 2016
Record label: Anti/Epitaph
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
The Psychedelic Swamp has been a long time in the making. A revisited and revamped version of Dr Dog's self-recorded, self-released cassette tape début, it’s essentially Psychedelic Swamp: Redux. Now this might suggest a swankily packaged, souped up, studio sheen-laden product released with a celebratory fanfare fit to do justice to 15 years in the game.
When a band dusts off an unreleased collection of music for a new album, there's often two thoughts that can come to mind. First, there's excitement to hear these long-lost (or hard to find) songs and discover yet another side of the band. The other, however, is skepticism that these songs will sound good or meet the lofty standards the band has achieved with their other albums.
Back in 2001, The Psychedelic Swamp seemed an appropriate name for the debut cassette from psychedelic pranksters Dr. Dog, but some 15 years later the title seems even more fitting given that the band decided to revisit, rework, and re-jigger the entirety of the album to create a brand-new album for 2016. It's not quite right to say Dr. Dog cover themselves here.
Some artists seem to go out of their way to defy description. Neil Young, David Byrne and the late David Bowie are all of that ilk, artists who make it a practice to keep their fans and admirers guessing as to what expect to next. Granted, Dr. Dog aren’t in that rarified strata, but in their own way they’ve gone about their career in much the same way.
Dr. Dog are a stubborn band. Early in their career, somewhere around We All Belong, they found a signature sound and stuck with it. On The Psychedelic Swamp, they’re finally taking some baby steps into newer, murkier waters. Yet, for an album that is meant to dabble in a new genre and explore an ….
Accessibility and experimentation are in splendid balance on Dr. Dog’s latest, a reimagining of the band’s 15-year-old experimental debut tape. The starting point for the band’s eighth studio album is what bassist Toby Leaman has described as an “unlistenable” recording effort from Dr. Dog’s earliest days.