Dr. Dog, the Oddly Ordered Beatles
When reviewing the new Dr. Dog album for music committee some strange feeling came over me. It was Déjà vu, I’ve heard this transition before. I revisited one of my most unpopular opinions that I’ve had about a band called Dr. Dog. “This sounds a lot like The Beatles, but in reverse!” I know that’s an oversimplification of the circumstances, but being raised on the Beatles, their new album that just came out over a week ago sounds a bit like the Beatles from 1967-1969.
Dr. Dog is a band that started in 1999 in Pennsylvania starting off with a very structured lo-fi sound. Their first full length album, Toothbrush, came out in 2003. Some of the songs in the album, such as:
“Jealous Man” sounds like the song off of the Abbey Road album that came out in 1969, “Oh! Darling”.
Dr. Dog made albums consistently from 2005-2016. Their discography includes: Easy Beat (2005) Takers and Leavers (2006) We All Belong (2007) Passed Away Vol. 1 (2008) Fate (2008) Shame, Shame (2010) Be the Void (2012) B-Room (2013) Live at the Flamingo Hotel (2015) and their newest album The Psychedelic Swamp (2016).
When I say Dr. Dog sounds a lot like The Beatles, I am not saying that as a bad thing. In fact I think that is a great thing. We now have a Beatles of our generation. But the thing is you can make stark comparisons between the two. Such as Live at the Flamingo Hotel being like a newer version of the rooftop concert, but not as important. Another comparison can be their album Fate sounding like a folky version of The Beatles album A Hard Day’s Night. But the final and albeit most important comparison, The Psychedelic Swamp sounds a little bit like Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine had a baby.
Now there is a style similarity between the two, the most striking of which I felt while listening to both discographies was the backing vocals. The thing that made The Beatles so iconic was their catchiness and their back-up “oooo’s and ahhs” (Ben Kessler 2016)
But if you look at Dr. Dog some of their songs have this exact quality:
Heart It Races by Dr. Dog was a song that I had stuck in my head for the entire month of March in 2015.
And the song From off of the album Fate has all of the backing vocals that give the feel that The Beatles did.
The reason why the new Dr. Dog album is so important for them though is the fact that they are switching genres experimentally. Some people may forget, but The Beatles started off as a boy band. PEOPLE HATED THE BEATLES WHEN THEY FIRST STARTED OUT. But they adjusted to be part of the founding fathers of modern rock and roll, they adjusted and experimented and made very good music. The Beatles eventually switched from their Rock and Roll style to something more in the psychedelic genre, and I see this happening to Dr. Dog. Dr. Dog is one of the hardest working bands that is currently in the Indie Rock scene. The Beatles will stand the test of time. I’m happy that Dr. Dog is continuing this legacy, I just hope no Yoko Ono comes in to ruin the fun.
The world may never know sounds like Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da