Dog Is Dead - All Our Favourite Stories
It's believed that if you have a guitar, a trendy haircut and dress in double denim or some 70's throwaway, you're indie. But for most indie bands in theire youth, they like to be a tad-outrageous: a culture of regular drinking, easy access to a dealer and a fuck you attitude has come with the lomographic retro pictures of the band looking like they've just been told their favorite cheap brand of cider has gone up in a tax coup.
Although Dog Is Dead have kept their wide use of denim and a glum "don't talk to me unless it's about beer or girls" expression, they don't appear the sort to follow the lineage of their peers, such as one band who seem to carry out most interviews drunk and on skateboards. Their debut LP All Our Favorite Stories has been four years in the making through supporting some well-known indie names from Bombay Bicycle Club, Cloud Control and Ok Go, with the bands charming collective nature easily showcased throughout. But with this in mind, All Our Favorite Stories won't be a collection of drunken chatter, of rowdy nights or stories that belong on Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents, but more a collection of feelings, lusts and aged stories of the gang.
But just because DID aren't partaking in their own version of heat magazine doesn't mean this album isn't a juicy listen. Album opener 'Get Low' forms a subtle and graceful entrance; it's attractive tidal bass line gives rise to Rob Milton's poignant vocals painting a picture of bitter heartbreak and the opening of a slow healing wound. But through the grey, frosty picture, there seems life and colour like warm blood running through veins on a cold, pale winters day. 'Do The Right Thing' follows adding a pleasant injection of endorphins with its musical box charm, fresh outlook and out-of-time vocals in line of some of Little Comets or Bombay Bicycle Club's jagged experimentalism.
What's soon clear is the simple appeal with All Our Favorite Stories as 'Teenage Daughter', 'Talk Through The Night' and 'River Jordan' come their major riffs and sing-a-long vocals make listening a simple joy and effortless. From an un-provoked headbang, to a succession of air drum plays, it's easy to find yourself singing en-mass with the band in one of the many full-bodied choruses. The success comes with the mixture on offer; it's simple and one that has been executed to the highest degree, even if at times it would seem that Dog Is Dead are holding back in some way. But what we hear is far from straightforward; All Our Favorite Stories is bursting with layers, simple puffs of sax and glocks create an evolving character as they trickle around the tribal drums and sunny guitars.
As 'Two Devils', 'Hands Down' and 'Glockenspiel Song' follow, they come with as much precision and character as the songs before them, as everything holds a great sense a depth. The tracks form like a well sewn tapestry of multi-colored threads that come together, making some piece of desirable, trendy knitwear. There's simple pop appeal, a steel like bass core and a succession of hodge podge beats giving rise to Milton's warm husk and an enigmatic succession of addictive fizzy riffs that Two Door Cinema Club would be proud of.
As 'Heal It' and 'Any Movement' close, we get a sense of what Dog Is Dead are all about. Screw the fashion statements; let them be drunk because when your debut is as glittering, hugely evocative, effortlessly pleasant and simply pretty as this, who cares what they get up to?
Purchase and listen
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