Dr. Dog pulls it off again. Six albums deep, the band picks up where their 2010 release, Shame, Shame, left off and gives us Be the Void. With a tendency to experiment, or more so, let their style evolve with age, Dr. Dog departs further from their psychedelic harmonies and folksy guitar jam sessions of the past towards a more direct, rock ‘n’ roll focus.
At first, Be the Void is a self-produced album that is good but not overwhelmingly sensational. However, after a couple of listens, Void makes sense. You hear the unabashed emotion they have poured into each track. Newfound inspiration appears to come from collaborating with the addition of two new members, drummer, Eric Slick, and multi-instrumentalist, Dimitri Manos.
With a wealth of solid songs, the track list of Void contains a great contrast between Dr. Dog’s upbeat, jaunty persona and their bluesy, guitar-heavy alter-ego. There are plentiful amounts of “ahs” and a catchy piano motif in “Do the Trick,” which pairs sounds of carefree happiness with lyrics that reflect someone’s despair in a search for a companion who can “do the trick” and fix a “heart (that) ain’t running right.” A highlight in the album is “Vampire,” as the track ascends with melodic hope but unexpectedly breaks off and resolves with periodic minor chord progressions, making the composition of the song gently haunting. The tuneful feedback that reverberates to the listener is paired with lyrics, heard in the form of soulful pleas.
There is an obvious freedom that permeates Void, allowing Dr. Dog to collaborate to produce a cohesive work that reflects their confidence in the music that best reflects their current passions. It’s Dr. Dog’s ever-evolving and unapologetic pursuit of creativity that makes Be the Void work.