Though I once thought that Dr. Dog was a solo artist, the band consists of six members, two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, a keyboardist, and a sixth member who plays various instruments. Their style is best described as psychedelic indie rock, though they have a touch of folk and Beach Boys-esque surf rock as well. Dr. Dog will perform at the 9:30 Club this Thursday, and I am giddy with excitement.
Hailing from the Philadelphia area, Dr. Dog have been around since the early 2000s, though frontmen Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken have played together since they were in 8th grade. They’ve released seven albums, three of which have charted, as well as numerous EPs and collaborations. Their most recent studio album, B-Room, was released in 2013, with their current tour in support of their first ever live album, Live at a Flamingo Hotel, which was released a couple of weeks ago.
Dr. Dog is notable for its heavy use of keyboards, inclusion of instruments from trumpets to accordions, and spectacular vocal harmonies. They also tend to include strange lyrics in their songs, such as “I tie my boots up tight and I head straight to bed/ There’s a pistol and a crystal underneath my pillow,” two notable lines from the song “That Old Black Hole.”
Though they generally have a mellow sound, Dr. Dog is known for bringing more energy into their live shows, something that comes through on their live album and will hopefully be even more evident when they play at the 9:30 Club. Either way, with so many great songs and a precedent for musical innovation, it will be practically impossible for Dr. Dog to disappoint.