Dr. Dog have been given a hard time in the past for a tendency to rely on their influences. If you make a list of ten “major” classic rock influences from the ‘60s and ‘70s, chances are Dr. Dog have a song that that sounds directly like six or seven of them. While it’s easy to accuse the music of sounding contrived or unoriginal, it’s also the type of music that really works – when it works.

B-Room, the group’s eighth studio album, sees the band march right on past the ten-year anniversary of their debuts, Psychedelic Swamp and Toothbrush. While it may be cliché to talk about the changes the band has inevitably made over that period of time, the key here is the changes they’ve made even from their last release, Be the Void. Where that album often relied on chaos and urgency, B-Room brings a certain cohesion and pace to the equation. The best example of this is the stunning “Too Weak to Ramble,” which is stripped of everything but two acoustics and vocals.

The end result, however, remains largely consistent with the band’s tendency to create a couple really great tracks and a somewhat forgettable album as a whole.

By Cory Jones

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