Friday, May 22, 2009

These Young Pups Are Impressive

While they've lost the cachet of releasing their album as an import on German label Tomlab (THE mother-flippin' BOOKS!), Haligonians Dog Day are back with the follow-up to their 2007 album Night Group. Coming to you by way of the good folks at Outside Music (who have gone from being solely a distribution force to a label to be reckoned with...) Concentration builds on the strengths of that last record and exceeds even my wildest expectations about what these young'uns were capable of.

While the washes of guitar and keyboards mask it sometimes, the vocals are the heart of Dog Day and Seth Smith and Nancy Urich are both captivating singers. Smith starts opener "Happiness" with a classic indie-rock monotone delivery before some switching up to some soaring "woo-ooo's" and then he and Urich start chanting "this is the life" and the energy sells the sentiment. Urich takes center stage on "Neighbour" though it's not exactly in the center of the mix - instead her voice is like a disembodied presence floating away from the rooted rhythm section. Curiously, Smith's "I won't turn on you / I'm not like that" near the three-minute mark is front-and-center. It's an interesting choice.

"Wait It Out" is a particular favourite, with a catchy melody and hand claps (the hand claps get me every time) supported by a driving four/four beat, but it's a disservice to the strength of the record to single out favourites. Concentration works from front to back with nary a filler cut amongst the bunch.

The band is on tour with Julie Doiron (and others), and will be playing the historic Royal Albert on June 5th if you live in Winnipeg. Full tour date info is available by clicking on this link.

Concentration is available as a digital download here on Zunior.

Here's the video for "Happiness" from the new album:

Don't forget to check out Dog Day's Myspace page, Facebook page and website.

I'll leave you with "Rome" via the fine folks at Herohill.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

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