Trying to categorize which genre Dr. Dog fully fit into is about as tough as trying to identify each of the flavors in a can of Dr. Pepper. Just when you think you’ve nailed it, the next track starts and you find yourself unsure of your previous assessment. Their eighth studio album B-Room, which the Philly rockers are currently touring behind, is their most varied recipe yet, showing deeper influences of soul, psychedelia, bluegrass, funk and bluesy rock.
Much like the title implies, B-Room listens more like a long list of B-sides rather than a fully choreographed album. But make no mistake, this isn’t a bunch of leftover late-night noodling sessions, it’s more of a testament to the true melodic talents of a band that’s been consistently putting out solid albums since 2001. Although every track has its own sound, each are strung together by the consistently shared lead vocals of Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken and supported by tantalizing harmonies.
Dr. Dog’s live performances are what will truly leave a favorable and formidable impression upon fans. When a band’s music spans so many genres so does its invites to different venues, festivals and stages, and over the years, Dr. Dog have had ample opportunity to adjust their sound to accommodate ever-changing environments. From a sweaty, cramped barn at Pickathon to opening for the The Lumineers in an arena, Dr. Dog do what they do best by experimenting with their sound depending on the stage and pulse of the audience. Their upcoming visit to Portland’s Crystal Ballroom on Monday, March 3 should see them cranking up the psych rock and funk to keep the crowd dancing while intermittently sprinkling in some raw blues to create a well-balanced night of moves, grooves and smiles.
Openers Saint Rich offer up a delicious appetizer of melodic rock to whet your appetite prior to the main meal. Together, guitarists Christian Peslak and Steve Marion (of Delicate Steve fame and musical collaborators since high school) provide plenty of swirling guitar supported by steady percussion from Marion, who puts down his ax in favor of drumsticks in Saint Rich. Peslak’s vocals are able to transition from soothing to folky and back to complement the overall outpouring of twangy, poppy rock as heard on the album opener "Officer" from their 2013 debut Beyond The Drone.