Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Album Review : “Emerge” by Dog Society



  • Audio CD (Sept.25, 2012) Number of Discs: 1 Label: CDBY

A perfect blend of indie, pop, retro pop-rock and Beatle-esque psychedelia. This Queen’s, NY based collective have turned out an album that should catch the ears of the radio DJs and music fans from “phat slammin” to the barely breathing. One of the best damn albums I have heard all year and I have heard a bunch of them.

Dog Society is an over night sensation from almost 20 years ago that must have been scared of the sophomore jinx. Dog Society released their acclaimed debut album Test Your Own Eyes in 1993 via EastWest / Atlantic Records. Test Your Own Eyes was produced by Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf for Bongload Productions. The pair had just produced Beck's Mellow Gold album which um, did pretty damn good. They were coming up with such acclaimed bands like Stone Temple Pilots, Pantera and Sheryl Crowe. The album earned raves from the critics and fans alike. The band toured the nation opening for Crow, Stone Temple Pilots, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. They were seemingly on their way to super stardom. The tracks “Love Is All Gone” and “When You’re Dead” got modest airplay nationally.

Dog Society “Love Is All Gone” from the album “Test Your Own Eye’s” 1993

But the music business can sometimes take the confidence out of an artist. The management and label made decisions that were out of their control. The band went their separate ways in ‘94 and that was seemingly the end of the story. But they were and still are all very passionate when it comes to playing music.

Now the artist has the ability to produce, arrange, record, and sell his or her own music. So they don't have the pressure of writing a hit song, to satisfy a suit who is only interested in $$. They can be true to themselves and that is going to allow for great, unique music to be created. Dog Society remained active on the NYC rock circuit, but avoided the “suits”. They haven’t lost, over the years, that knack for the consistently innovative fusions of contemporary and classic rock influences. You’ll hear the ghosts of The Beatle’s, especially with vocalist Brian Schnaak’s Lennon-esque ability to sneer and weep all in the same syllable. You’ll hear touches of The Who, and more modern touches from SoundGarden, Radiohead and even hip-hop and  country inspiration.

“The Fuse” by Dog Society from the album “Emerge” Sept. 2012

Bassist/Guitarist Rich Guerzon had this to say, “I am always searching for new inspiration. As a songwriter I am always discovering music, whether is from today or 50 years ago. I appreciate all styles from all cultures. So there is plenty of experience to have in one lifetime.” That dedication to music shines through. His bass lines are both inventive and tasteful but also pay tribute to everyone from Beethoven to gospel. He may just be my new favorite rock bassist.

Bruce Erik Brauer shines on the guitar parts, whether playing retro 60s pop/psych/rock or alt-rock/art-rock and grunge. Bruce is the perfect “band guitarist”. He never seems to let his ego over rule the collective direction of the group. And finally, Joe Ranieri is startlingly good on drums and percussion. Whether he is driving the beat on tunes like “Pink Sun” or just riding along on “Shade grown”. Glenn Sherman ads vocals and guitar.

Dog SocietyWithout sounding contrived, the band has a distinct “Strawberry Fields/I Am The Walrus” era Beatles sound, but when you analysis the tunes there is a great deal in the makeup that isn’t Beatles. It doesn’t come out as a deliberate effort to emulate The Fab Four, instead it feels the collective effort to win over the listener, not with in your face bravado, but with a hypnotic presence and the over all beauty of their music. It’s really one of the most interesting and ear catching albums I have heard, filled with catchy melodies and astounding choruses yet edgy rock n’ roll roils right under the surface. They have Vulcan Mind Melded so many great influences from rocks history that they have entered another dimension. It’s sick and its slammin’and its sweet, it’s groovy and it’s right on and oh so damn good.

The Dirty Lowdown

Copyright © 2012 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

  1. Without sounding contrived, the band has a distinct “Strawberry Fields/I Am The Walrus” era Beatles sound,

    Seriously? They totally rip off The Beatles straight up! Damn.. they even have the balls to use the same chords and exact melodies sometimes! What isn't drenched in The Beatles influence sounds like outdated early 90's rock including the over produced drum kit...