Dog Society just might make a citizen out of you with their 2013 album Emerge. This album gives off the feeling of a road trip’s drive along a countryside and is a testament to the band’s Arcade Fire-meets-Smashing Pumpkins vibe. I want to start with the cover art to this album, which is something you could actually hang up on your wall and stare at for a while (a reaction that cover art should evoke).
The album is contemplative in nature, making for great music to kick back and listen to while you figure a few things out for yourself. This album would be great for a road trip for the slight variations in its style and the atmosphere it suggests.
‘Being Here’ is the first track on the list and it gets right into it, not wasting any time on establishing a musical atmosphere for now. It makes up for the rush by setting the tone for the rest of the album, which is important for the first song. It also helps that it is an overall likeable song. A change of pace comes along with ‘A Good Friend’ to show that slight variation in style mentioned earlier. The vocals here are clearer than the previous song, which was overgrown with instrumentals. If you learn the words, this song would be great to sing along to and would be perfect for new listeners to fall in love with the band through.
There’s a break in the album with the song ‘The Fuse Before’, slowing everything down. This is a natural point of the album, though it usually takes place a couple songs later when the band has further established itself. Wherever it’s put, it is an important part of the album. There’s a good tune to this song, but it’s bland in comparison to its predecessors. ‘Scraped’ comes by with some interesting experimentation, but it also comes across as somewhat pretentious. This song is why I am reminded of Smashing Pumpkins since the tone is akin to Siamese Dream. Unfortunately, this song is largely forgettable.
‘Pink Sun’ drags on with the same dulled tone as the previous two songs, though it has a style that sets it apart. This song paints a picture using sound itself, making for an interesting experience. The next song, ‘Shade Grown’, projects itself through a different vocal filter – a change that could be somewhat risky. I don’t think the filter really adds anything to the song or the tone of the rest of the album except that it establishes itself differently.
I loved ‘Suffer a Smile’ from the get-go. It’s a fun tune that does some experimenting with other sounds and constructs itself as something made for the summertime. The words of this song strike me more than any other on the album. ‘Spoken Word’ dials back to the calmer stages of the album which was somewhat disappointing considering the vitality of the last song. Someone who prefers smoother tunes might like this more than I would. There’s a pattern of revving up and then slowing down. There isn’t much more to be said about this album since it largely falls into line with the other songs.
‘Aleja’ is another variation of what this band is capable of. Couple that with a catchy tune and you’ve got a loveable song here. This is one of the better songs for grasping the attention of the listener after the previous song. Additionally, it attempts a somewhat psychedelic mood that I found interesting. The sleepiest song of the album comes with ‘Daymare’, which is a cheesy name for a song and happens to be even duller than the other ones on the tracklist. This song is easily my least favourite.
‘Spaceboots’ is immediately one of the better songs for its playful nature, suspended in a sort of day dream that people are more than happy to get caught up in. It’s definitely strange and is kind of like a personification of a drug trip – or at least what people picture the trip to feel like. This is my favourite song of the album, along with ‘A Good Friend’, showing that the album might be gearing for a strong ending. But then it drops off again with the song ‘Salt’. The crispness of this song isn’t saving it from being one of the blander tunes and it loses the potential that ‘Spaceboots’ set up for it. At least it wasn’t the worst song.
Emerge is an experience that you have to hear for yourself to really decide what kind of a band Dog Society is. It was a great way to first experience the band, and though I did bash a few songs, I was not disappointed with this album.
For more on Dog Society, visit dogsociety.tv.