Rock is littered with silly names and Dr. Dog is one of them. But then it's probably better than Raccoon, the name of a band with Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken.
Dr. Dog got rolling in '99 when Leaman and McMicken picked up Zach Miller and Ted Mark. Mining '60s/'70s Rock, the Philadelphia based band's debut album was "Psychedelic Swamp." That was followed by "Toothbrush." Then Mark left in '03 and O'Donnell in '04. They were replaced by Eric Slick and Andrew Jones, respectively. But Jones didn't stay long, choosing to return to the legal profession in '05. At that point, Frank McElroy stepped in.
After opening for My Morning Jacket, Dr. Dog found a champion in New York Times music critic Kelefa Sanneth who praised the group's third album, "Easy Beat."
The '06 EP "Takers And Leavers" had the unique touch of custom covers made by band members (of the first 1,000 copies). '07 album, "We Belong," led to more touring and a handful of late night TV appearances. "Fate" arrived the following year.
Finding their fan base growing Dr. Dog signed with Anti-Records in '09 and moved out of the basement recording studio environment. While working on "Shame," McMicken told a reporter the album was "a little more Punk Rock with more electric guitars." And it shows " what the band is like at a live concert." Good move. The set landed at #1 on the College Radio album chart featuring the lead single "Shadow People."
2001 Psychedelic Swamp
2005 Easy Beat
2007 We All Belong
2010 Shame, Shame
It's hard to dislike the retro-pop of Dr. Dog. They resurrect the late-60s/early'70s and don't differentiate between kitschy and cool. But they do it with such sincerity that you're apt to let them get away with it.
"Later" sounds like David Bowie fronting ABBA, with a pumping piano and carnival noise. "Shadow People" brings Neil Young's Country leanings into the mix. Likewise, The Band's fingerprints are all over "Station." John Lennon influences "Where'd The Time Go" and Badfinger permanents "Mirror Mirror." And "Stranger," with its trippy '60s Punk, is not to be missed.