It only took 22 years but that dog. has released their 4th album ‘Old LP‘ and they haven’t lost a single step.
I was first smitten with that dog. when their track ‘Grunge Couple‘ showed up on the 1994 compilation “DGC Rarities – Vol. 1’. The fact the song stood out among tracks by Nirvana, Weezer, Sonic Youth, and Beck, almost a who’s who of 90s alternative, showed a lot of promise for a young band. The subsequent three full-length albums that followed more than lived up to that promise.
Their S/T debut in 1993, the solid sophomore record ‘Totally Crushed Out’ in ’95 almost had them on the map, but shortly after their third album ‘Retreat From The Sun‘ in 1997 they became disillusioned with the business and broke up shortly afterward.
Back in the 90s their blend of grungy alternative pop-punk layered with violins and cellos and sweet harmonies was a perfect fit for the times. Guess what, it still is. The reunion started in 2011 and with the fire restoked, they’ve been writing and playing since.
On ‘Old LP‘, that dog. keeps one foot in the 90s but the nostalgia doesn’t even last through the chamber pop gem ‘Your Machine‘. It’s quickly clear that they sound like a brand new band and by the time ‘Just The Way‘ is half over, the past is the past and these 11 tracks slide effortlessly into what is a sterling catalog of music.
Lead singer/guitarist Anna Waronker says the subject matter may have changed a bit but the inspiration is the same.
“We were very young when the band was first happening. In a way, I was reporting on being a 20-year-old girl, documenting my life experiences. Now I’m checking back in as a 47-year-old. When I jumped back into writing a that dog. album, I thought, how do I do this? The girl who wrote those songs then, where would she be now? She was me, so I had to be me again, which I haven’t done for a while. I’ve done so much writing for other people and other projects. It was interesting to pry myself open the way I do when I’m writing in that dog. It was just so matter-of-fact.”
Leave it to a band from the 90s to breathe some fresh air into the 10s.
Lead Vocals, Guitar / Anna Waronker
Vocals, Bass / Rachel Haden
Drums / Tony Maxwell
(Violinist Petra Haden is not with the band).