Conventional wisdom suggests that follow-up albums usually pale in comparison to an artists first recorded effort. However, Dog Societys story does not follow the conventional music business model at all. This New York City four-piece released its introductory album, titled Test Your Own Eyes, way back in 1993. Now, in 2013, after a long hiatus, the group is back with Emerge. They say every dog gets its day. In this instance, one particular dog gets two days.
Stylistically, Dog Society comes off as a slightly psychedelic, partially power-pop rock band. The group is at its most psychedelic during Spaceboots, a wonderful imaginary lyric about space travel preparation. Vocalist Brian Schnaaks sings about being on the way back to Mars, and advising one and all to put their space boots on. Over a
spacey minor key melody, Schnaaks sings a sci-fi ditty that may not be fiction too very far into the future.
The song A Good Friend goes for a more straight forward rock arrangement, as Schnaaks sings with a slightly scratchy vocal tone. The verses swing easily, yet the choruses go into a rocking, garage rock/Nirvana scream-y mode that is so appealing.
With A Fuse Before, Dog Society reveals the softer, quieter side of its musical nature with an acoustic guitar-based arrangement. Schnaaks sings in a gentle tone, as the sparse arrangement incorporates a restrained percussion groove and just a touch of jangling guitar.
Although Dog Society was quiet on the recorded front for an extended stretch, the group still continued to play gigs around New York City, without the benefit of new product. Emerge is a fine pop-rock effort that spotlights expertly crafted songs, which are sung and played particularly well. Any band that takes nearly two decades to produce a second album is not one out to create a whole lot of commercial hype, let alone career momentum for that matter. Nevertheless, Emerge reveals that Dog Societys long-awaited album is well worth the wait. Lets all hope this emergence is only the first in many happy (and closely spaced) returns.