Dog Is Dead - 'All Our Favourite Stories' (UK Release: 8 Oct '12) // Words: Howard Gorman
The signature sound of Dog Is Dead has garnered them a trusty following, and an excellent live reputation due to their brilliant festival performances. Touted by critics as stars in waiting (and one of our tips for 2011), their debut album finds them facing quite the challenge. According to the band, this long player is the crowning touch of their combined experiences, and it was crux for them to write in this anecdotal style. So, are their favourite stories worth listening to?
I’m glad to say that fans won’t be deceived. That’s not to say it has its downfalls though - standout tracks 'Two Devils' and 'Glockenspiel Song' have the unfortunate tendency to give the newer songs a tamer feel by comparison. Obviously, this is mostly due to radio play - Fearne Cotton absolutely loved the latter. I’m not trying to take credit away from the new tracks in saying this though. With repeated listening the album is a pocket myriad of catchiness.
The entire record just has such a positive, happy feel to it - something typical of this genre. This feel good notion lies in the buoyant, upbeat bass-lines and debonair guitar riffs throughout. Such a wide assortment of instruments certainly spruces up their sound on tracks like 'Glockenspiel Song' and the tracks are stitched together, almost seamlessly, from start to end.
One of the unfortunate downfalls I mentioned is the incessant feeling that they more often than not get a bit too embroiled in their eternal melting pot of influences. Inevitably, there is little room left for the band to really let their own colours shine through. 'Do The Right Thing' is positively steeped in The Strokes, whilst many tracks had a very Bombay Bicycle Club (a band they have toured with) feel to them.
I just kept getting that speculative feeling that I’d been there, done that and bought the T-shirt. The T-shirt hasn’t faded from excessive washing, it’s just that Dog Is Dead lack that essential novelty required for any band trying to make or break it now.
Despite being a debut album, what the band lack in novelty they more than make up for in confident writing, and their songs certainly flaunt mainstream appeal. As a whole, this is a hearty portion of indie-pop pomp, and, although nothing groundbreaking, I’m certain there’s a lot more to come from Dog Is Dead. My only qualm here is that they’ve over-embraced their influences. Musically, there’s nothing to fault the album on as it all sounds first-rate, but I’d like to see more of a focus on strengthening their own signature sound next time round.
'All Our Favourite Stories' is available to purchase at amazon.co.uk. Find more info at dogisdead.co.uk.