Dr. Dog’s new album, “Shame, Shame,” is both fast-paced and uplifting. Although not a huge musical departure for the psychedelic, power-pop band, it is still a strong offering. Dr. Dog carries its characteristic excitement and high energy through the entire album. The album opens with “Stranger,” a song guided by its catchy bass and vivacious drum line; it’s reminiscent of the band’s older tracks like “Old Ways” and “Ain’t It Strange.” The following song, “Shadow People,” begins more slowly with only an acoustic guitar, but the band quickly chimes in with jammy riffs and a backing chorus that asks, “Where did all the shadow people go?” This isn’t the only question the band has for the listener. Inherent in the title, “Where’d All the Time Go?” is a meditation on youth’s fleeting qualities and lead singer Scott McMicken’s longing for the past he cannot have. But the band’s upbeat melodies and sweeping guitar riffs add an optimistic twinge to an otherwise nostalgic and sobering thought. Not every track is bursting with energy. The folkie, rustic guitar and steady percussion on “Station” give the listener a break from the vigor that saturates much of the album. Here, Dr. Dog slows its roll, allowing the listener to hear the subtle intricacies of its rich, quirky sound. Has all the energy left Dr. Dog tired and worn out? After all, McMicken exclaims on the opening track, “I do believe that there are no more tricks up my sleeve.” But the liveliness of “Shame, Shame” would beg to differ. Something tells me Dr. Dog will continue turning tricks for years to come.
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