Dr. Dog's "How Long Must I Wait" takes an enjoyably swirling look at a meaningless, mysterious world.
Dr. Dog's "How Long Must I Wait" takes an enjoyably swirling look at a meaningless, mysterious world. Chris Crisman
Song: "How Long Must I Wait"
Artist: Dr. Dog
CD: Be the Void
Dr. Dog's latest album, Be the Void, shakes, rattles and rolls. The drums alone sound as if they've trashed many sets of good speakers, while the guitars feel crankier and funkier than in previous incarnations. The Philadelphia band went for a live, more rocking sound on the new record, and it achieved that effect by nixing the notion of an outside producer. Devotees of Shame, Shame and Fate will likely notice the difference — it's like abandoning The Beatles for The Rolling Stones or The Flaming Lips.
A playful spirit roams through Be the Void. The band whoops and hollers, rhymes nonsensical lyrics and employs gurgling sound effects from old video games and carnival rides. Instead of getting bogged down in nihilism — "Who am I to tell the truth / Oh, I don't even know what it is" — Dr. Dog picks up the tempo and dances around the black hole that is modern existence. It's a fun, rocking, swirling look at a meaningless and mysterious world.
The raucous Be the Void was recorded in Dr. Dog's homemade Philadelphia studio last summer, and the whole album feels like an escape from winter. In "How Long Must I Wait," the band tips its hat to warmer climes with a guitar that recalls the sound of a Caribbean steel drum, while the chorus is enough to bring anyone out of their wintry hibernation. The whole song exudes yearning and energy — even when the answer to the question of "How long must I wait?" is forever.