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When The Dogs‘ bassist Matt Bachmann emailed me a few months back with little more than a link to songs from their new album, Camping, he did so with the phrase “Delicious music” in the subject line. Indeed, “A Decent Warning,” the record’s second track, is about as tasty as they come.
It’s an electrified bit of guitar-pop with the same sort of simple-yet-divine hooks that have made The Drums, Cults, and The Rosebuds such hot commodities over the past year. That isn’t to say that The Dogs necessarily sound like either of those acts per se, just that they embrace a similar ethos in their songwriting.
The production on Camping, however, is a far more homespun affair: the band logged a total of four hours in a proper studio during its creation, which explains the excellent lo-fi sheen throughout. Drums sound a little more cavernous, guitars become a bit more gruff, and so forth, but there are still nicely placed flourishes throughout (like the distant twinkle of–is it a xylophone?–during the verses).
Those verses are an elegant foil to the choruses, which grind and howl in a manner not alluded to by their more subdued surroundings. Listening to those two sections bridge together with the help of some ascendant vocal harmonies is a glorious thing and it only gets better when you know to expect it.
You would never guess that the members of The Dogs are strewn across the globe–Minnesota, Washington, Massachusetts, even Norway–because that physical distance is belied by a sonic closeness, the sound of four musicians who are all on the same page, making delicious music together.