Release Date: Feb 27, 2007
Record label: Park the Van
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
”We’ve got old news,” sing this Philly band on their third CD, We All Belong. That’s no lie. Their giddy lo-fi rock addresses good weekends, bad trips, and love-ache — hardly new topics — and evokes the Beatles (or Beatles solo projects) when not generally conjuring ’70s AM radio with spangly guitars, sleigh bells, and shout-along harmonies.
Philadelphia's nostalgia-trippin' quartet has stepped up the recording quality on We All Belong (the members used a twenty-four-track rather than the eight-track they used for 2005's Easy Beat) but remain firmly entrenched in the sounds and styles of yesteryear, taking the cheery harmonies and round, plucky bass lines of the Beatles and the Beach Boys interpreting Motown soul. It's an album of unassuming sincerity, but it never ascends beyond a certain (so what's the) point. The pieces are there to take the album beyond simple 1960s and '70s homage and into an almost distracting re-creation, but the amalgam might be more intriguing were the influences less overt.
"The thing the Sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had." So said John Lennon, and Dr. Dog, in their continued mining of the Beatles' every beat, fully embraces those nostalgic possibilities on their fourth and most polished release, We All Belong. With utopian harmonies, pounding piano rhythms, and lazy summer guitars, the ragtag Philadelphia outfit bounces through an "Octopus's Garden" of excellently executed pastiche ("The Girl," "Ain't It Strange"), at times even pruning from classic R&B ("Keep a Friend") and slow-burn Seventies folk-rock ("Alaska").