Atomic Dog

Atomic Dog One might expect a band championed by My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James to be a bit self-indulgent, but the latest disc from Philadelphia-based quintet Dr. Dog is, surprisingly, a tightly crafted, even disciplined piece of '70s revivalism. At this point, I think it´s important to say that I´m fairly ignorant of psychedelic pop. I´ve never been to Bonnaroo. I still haven´t gotten around to listening to Pet Sounds, and I had absolutely no idea what a woof+mud distortion guitar was until sometime earlier this week. A cursory Google search suggested that lead singer Scott McMicken is either the instrument´s only expert or the instrument is some variant of his own design which isn´t so far-fetched, considering the band´s DIY roots. But even after a week of picking through the effervescent and somehow still-ragged harmonies of their latest release, We All Belong, I´m still unsure of how to accurately describe its sound other than to say it reminds me of my grandmother: spry, a bit loopy, lacking in self-awareness, and in constant danger of unraveling before the last chord has reached its resolution. Which is to say that Dr. Dog must absolutely rock live.

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