The SIR Session

Dog Society

Independent release, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Coming off of a 19 year hiatus, New York City's Dog Society decide to take a much shorter time between releases this time around. Last year, they returned with the solid rock album Emerge – their first album since 1993 – and here, they set aside time to record a few songs from both of their albums on the two decade anniversary of their debut, Test Your Own Eyes. This release is a live acoustic rehearsal sans any studio trickery; what you hear is completely live to disc, recorded to a portable Pro Tools station. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Five tracks are highlighted: “Aleja” and “Spoken Word” from their recent album, while the remaining three, “Time To Go,” “Nothing Too Big,” and “The Distance,” go all the way back to the early '90s. Though the band released a well-received album during the height of alt-rock and grunge rock, they were criminally overlooked by the mainstream. However, incessant touring with Stone Temple Pilots and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones built them a solid fan base that still exists today.

“Time To Go” starts things off, and immediately you're second-guessing if this is actually a live disc. Frontman Brian Schnaak's voice glides by effortlessly and he's backed by pristine sounding guitars that illustrate how tightly knit this band is live. “Spoken Word” follows, using some captured studio spontaneity before they do the calmest song from   Emerge in their own version of a ballad, with heartfelt singing and gentle percussion, though the aching guitar work is really the focal point of this song. “Nothing Too Big” switches gears to a louder sound where Schnaak performs some vocal acrobatics, showing incredible range on this blues-influenced rock song. The last two songs, “Aleja” and “The Distance,” both take nods to the past. The former is a playful, '60s influenced tune and the latter is more reminiscent of the '80s with nice harmonies and the most intricate percussion of the bunch.

An intimate look into a band who never got their due, The SIR Session represents Dog Society's triumphant return, solidifying them as one of the truly great rock bands both past and present who happened to fly just under the radar of too many people's ears. If you're a fan of acoustic music or the timeless sounds of outfits like Semisonic, Local H, or Candlebox, this could easily be the soundtrack to your summer.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2013 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.