Every now and then there are moments when you don't really have anything to look forward to musically. Be it the few weeks in between releases or just one of those personal lulls in your enjoyment of the arts, there are just times when you don't really care. I have learned to embrace these times, because there will inevitably be a band that comes out of nowhere with a release and leave me pleasantly surprised. Dog Day is this band right now, and Night Group is their album to snap you out of the mindless repetition of imposing release dates.
Falling somewhere between Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine and Shout Out Louds, this quartet out of Halifax creates simple, straightforward, indie-pop. Here's a cute gimmick too, they're made up of two couples: Seth Smith (guitar, vocals) and Nancy Urich (bass, vocals), and KC Spidle (drums) and Crystal Thili (keyboards). Smith and Urich's vocals complement each other very well and the instrumentation between the four drifts in and out of happy and offbeat moods, while still managing to keep things wonderfully melodic.
My ears were perked immediately with the heavy drone in the intro to "Lydia," which quickly turns into a quirky, playful track, and one of the albums highlights. Also of note are "Oh Dead Life" "Vow" and "Sleeping, Waiting" all managing a perfect blend of distorted pop that kept me thinking of Hilarie (Apples In Stereo) Sidney's The High Water Marks.
Throughout the entirety of the album there is never an overwhelming sense of dread, despite what impressions the track list may give - "Oh Dead Life" "Great Pains" "End Of The World" and "Career Suicide" - although Dog Day does drift into an odd, quirky mode every now and then. Case in point, "Career Suicide," probably the main highlight of Night Group. Verses about making deals with the devil glide along eerie guitar riffs, but are still sung in lovely harmony, resulting in the happiest damnation of a soul I've ever heard. Don't you love juxtaposition?
If you're looking for a simple suggestion, I'd say it's worth a listen, but since I've always wanted to put out a cheesy quotable logline, like a real journalist, I'll say this: For a nice change of pace from the anticipated, check out Night Group, far from career suicide for Dog Day.