Dr. Dog - Takers & Leavers EP (Rough Trade)
16 Dec 2006
the magic of dr. dog is "in the gap between the beginning of pressing down on the fretboard and when the sound rolls out"; release - '06
Imagine the shock when I put on this record to find that it was a slightly (yet charmingly) sloppy non offensive indie band who were on... Rough Trade. Well I never. Luckily, my respect for that label had recently increased ten fold having seen Jeffrey Lewis supporting Nina Nastasia a few days back. Not only did Lewis, a Rough Trade boy himself, play one of the best sets I've seen recently but as part of his set he performed an animated history of everything that Rough Trade are (aided by a projector). And finally I thought to myself, yeah, that's actually one cool label. Sorry for being so slow on the uptake.
Yet as much as we've all learned to love that Rough Trade sound, Dr. Dog on first listen don't seem to offer anything particularly more than that. It has been said by an eager few that the EP already sounds itself like a classic, but more realistically it's a record that sounds like classics that already exist. I'm not sure that the band have a style of their own as such, but as for the style it is, it's a good'un.
I mean, they're totally charming lads and it does make you feel all nice and warm and fuzzy and looking forward to Christmas, and for this we should be grateful to Dr. Dog. It's one thing to enjoy what is happening when you are listening a record, but for it to make you look forward to the future is really helpful, especially during the emotional build up to the festive season. Even when they sing 'I don't want to die in your arms, I just want to die...', you just sit back and think ahh, Christmas! Yes, it's probably just the sleigh bells, but whoever heard of the summer of sleigh bells?
Like a lot of Rough Trade bands, Dr. Dog are a good one to try and fail to get your parents in to. Oddly, so many of us have the sort of parents that just keep going back to Coldplay even though they listened to Deep Purple, Pink Floyd and Hawkwind when they were younger, or the sort of parents that still do just listen to the Beatles or whatever it was they were listening to before you stole their perfect happy lives, and left them shell shocked and clinging to the past. Thoughts like that are all over this album, not directly in the lyrics, but in the gap between the beginning of pressing down on the fretboard and when the sound rolls out. It's nostalgia. And for every memory there is a different type of nostalgia, and for every type of nostalgia there is a song waiting to be written, recorded, released, listened to, reviewed and listened to over again.