Fade Out couldn’t be any more of a misnomer. Replete with soaring, dreamy choruses and grimy bliss, this album could be the strongest and most mature offering yet from Halifax’s iconic scrappy, fuzzed-out pop idols Dog Day.

The first thing you’ll notice from opening track, “Blackened,” is that this is much more of a dreamy and languid effort than 2011’s jagged and rubbed-raw, Deformer. While still swarming with stuttering, rollicking rock beats and off-kilter, cacophonous riffs, it’s much more ethereal and sweeping than its predecessor. The band is embracing their oft-cited genre of “fog pop” with more gusto than ever here. The album is a low-floating mist of soaring choruses and softly billowing shrouds of harmonies. At points, it recalls the soaring, sombre swoon of late-era Joy Division.

Known for their ragged, mercurial sound – one that teeters on the edge of utter elegance and complete and utter disintegration into furious noise – Fade Out may come as a slight surprise to long-time fans of the band. Written after the more left-field, macabre and minimal soundtrack to his own horror film Lowlife, this album sees pop-smith Seth Smith returning to reigns of wrangling catchy choruses and infectious hooks while still slipping in the quintessential Halifax quirk. It’s more reined-in, more controlled and definitely glossier. This is clearly a band that’s not ready to hang up the toque and boots (especially because of those slushy Halifax winters). Dog Day remain amazingly adept at serving up mesmerizing, miasmal pop tunes.

By Nick Laugher

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