To say the Halifax, Nova Scotia co-ed quartet Dog Day has what may well be the quintessential, post-millennial indie-guitar-rock sound is to list the ways the band mines the previous two decades for influences. Dog Day’s spacious, atmospheric guitar sound easily recalls Echo & the Bunnymen’s epic gloom crossed with the dense swirl of early ‘90s shoegaze, occasionally interjected with moody Cure-esque synth lines and melodies sharpened with a Sonic Youth-like angularity. Of the two vocalists, Nancy Urich tends to sing with a likeness recalling Kim Gordon’s artless enthusiasm, while Seth Smith reaches for the fierce drama of Interpol’s Paul Banks, only to find his comparatively thin vocals fading seamlessly into the mix, a seeming liability. Instead, it combines smoothly with Urich’s in a way a more forceful singer’s could not. Concentration, the band’s second full-length release (following 2007s well-received Night Group) is 45 more minutes of this sound, certainly familiar but executed with undeniable passion and craft. If the album has any overriding flaw, it’s a bizarrely backhanded one: Poised at the record’s midpoint is the urgent, chiming “Rome”, a breathtakingly perfect Urich-lead pop song that threatens to render the rest of the album a failure for its inability to reach the same achingly melodic heights. Foundations have been shaken much harder than this.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.
// Notes from the Road
"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.READ the article