Dr. Dog brings back the #039;70s on We All Belong

by Beacon Staff • March 28, 2007

Dr. Dog has come a long way from basement and garage recordings and mailing out CDs upon request.

Recorded on a 24-track, two-inch tape machine, the Philadelphia band's latest album, We All Belong, retains the group's eclectic mix of bouncy '60s and '70s rock and makes it even better.

With weirdness still intact, along with plaid collared-shirts, corduroy pants and one straw farmer's hat, Dr. Dog's five members bring We All Belong to a higher level of musicianship by intertwining

diverse styles of music with their own rendition of indie pop.

Scott McMicken and Toby Leaman collaborate

as the profound singer/songwriter duo while Frank McElroy, Zach Miller, and Juston Stens play various instruments

to formulate their psychedelic sounds.

The first track, "Old News," begins with a jazzy piano intro that leads into the "la la la" Beach Boys harmonies the band has become known for. The album moves to a slightly sultry vibe for the fifth track, "Alaska," only to introduce reggae in the narrative "Weekend," then jolts the listener to '70s disco with "Worst Trip."

Concluding

the assortment is "We All Belong," which expresses philosophical reflections

with lyrics like "looking back on yesterday and it won't be long before we all belong to love, 'cause all the time that's left to kill is drawing out its final will." Accompanied by a tinge of Arcade Fire-sounding vocals and violin interlude, it's the perfect climactic end to a well-rounded album.

While a mix of the Beach Boys and disco may seem worthless, Dr. Dog puts a smile on anyone's face with its catchy Beatles-style hooks and earthy lyrics. The band's unpretentious and devoted talents shine through in live performances.

These hipsters will get your toes tapping and hands clapping with their energy and casual atmosphere. They've toured with The Raconteurs, M. Ward and their good friends My Morning Jacket.

If there is any event for a good beer and a chill setting with jamming guitars, bass, keyboard and drums, then it's definitely a Dr. Dog concert, and We All Belong shows no sign of proving otherwise on the band's next tour.

Dr. Dog will return to the Boston area to play The Middle East in Cambridge on April 26 with The Teeth, Hoots and Hellmouth.