Dr. Dog, Takers and Leavers EP

Keith Phipps

By Keith Phipps

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Takers and Leavers EP

Dr. Dog
More easy beats and winning tunes from the Philadelphia rockers.

A lot of Dr. Dog's music sounds like it should be disastrous. "I've Just Got to Tell You," a sweet song with bouncing piano, doo-wop vocals, and a lazy guitar solo, flaunts lines like "I'm always out roamin'/Even when I'm in Rome." But somehow the Philadelphia band always lands on its collective feet. They'd spent half a decade plugging away at a lo-fi dream before attracting a buzz with the 2005 album Easy Beat, a winning collection of classic pop sounds recorded on an indie rock budget. While the remaining tracks on Takers and Leavers are hardly throwaways, "Ain't It Strange" joins psychedelic guitar filigrees with Beach Boy-inspired harmonies; that track and the anthem-like "Goner" are the most fully developed songs here. These recordings find the band stepping out from its basement studio; while tape hiss no longer serves as an unofficial sixth band member, the sound otherwise remains much the same.