Dog Society

Independent release, 2012


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


If you were following modern rock bands in the early '90s, then the name Dog Society should be familiar to you. The New Yorkers released their debut Test Your Own Eyes in 1993 on Atlantic Records and didn't waste anytime seeing radio airplay and going on tours with Stone Temple Pilots. Just when they were gaining momentum and on their way to being the next big thing in alternative rock, they disbanded. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Now here we are almost 20 years later, and the follow up to their well-received debut has landed. On Emerge, their long-awaited sophomore album, the band has taken the DIY route. After two decades, who knew what to expect from Dog Society? This could be an entirely different sound – for all we know, the band hadn't even picked up a guitar for 15 years.

Well, fortunately for us, all reservations are quickly laid to rest with the opening track “Being Here.” A lush rock 'n' roll tune with a '90s modern rock feel, this wouldn't be out of place following the Goo Goo Dolls on the FM dial. “A Good Friend” follows, a playful offering with a tropical vacation feel, and it's about here that the listener realizes all sides of the rock spectrum are going to be delivered within this disc.

“The Fuse Before” has a timeless singer-songwriter vibe, an ideal soundtrack to a campfire and reminds me of Ryan Adams on Prozac. Though you'll hear influences from the greats here, The Beatles are probably the most notable, especially on “Pink Sun,” which is one of the highlights on Emerge. Though a good chunk of this is delicate and shimmering in beauty, there's plenty of driving guitars: “Space Boots” possesses a guitar crunch à la early Weezer and “Suffer A Smile” sounds like it would be a perfect fit for Sub Pop's grunge roster circa 1992.

Now that rock music has become more experimental and cluttered than ever, it's nice to know that a band like Dog Society exists. Emerge is a collection of extremely well crafted songs that encompass a large range. The timeless melodies, memorable choruses, and nice balance between gentleness and gritty rock 'n' roll makes this one of the best discs of 2012.

Rating: A

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