Dog Bite, Tranquilizers

Garrett Kamps

By Garrett Kamps

on 01.21.14 in Reviews


Dog Bite
What it lacks in coherence it makes up for in mood

Listening to the sophomore album from Atlanta shoegazers Dog Bite — essentially the solo project of erstwhile Washed Out keyboardist Phil Jones — is a bit like snorkeling: There’s beauty out there in the deep, but you’ve gotta be willing to swim through a few layers to find it, which makes it all the more gratifying when you do. “There Was Time,” the opening track, is deliquescent, a murky mix of elliptical guitars and hesitant drum beats, blended till smooth. Like much of this record, what it lacks in coherence it makes up for in mood. “Wonder Dark” begins with hammered percussion and thick, reverberating guitar riffs, creating a haze through which you have to squint to spy its tropical-sounding melody and Jones’s gauzy gossamer vocals. On “Tuesdays,” Jones moans over plucked guitars and brutally lo-fi drum machines as if he’s singing from the other end of a sewer pipe. “Dream Feast” might be the most diffuse of all, its dreamy synths and barely-there beat swelling up and down as Jones’s vocal float over top. The exception to these soporific selections is “Lady Queen,” a surprisingly groovy house track. As its name not so subtly suggests, Tranquilizers is a proudly narcotic collection of songs whose structure is hard to discern, but whose idiosyncratic details — like those of the best dreams — are often hard to forget.