Saturday, 28 April 2018

Album of the Month: Pursued by Dogs - Pursued by Dogs

Pursued By Dogs - Album Review

Info: Dublin indietronica four-piece Pursued by Dogs released their debut self-titled album yesterday ahead of a launch show at The Button Factory on the 4th of May. 

It may not be something of much significance, or it could be another sign of yet further improvement in the ongoing quality of specific genres in the Irish music scene currently, but I have noticed over the last 12 months that the area of indie and electronic music has shifted away from merely attempting to be 'radio-friendly'. It's a genre that for quite some time has been the doyen of a small cluster of Irish bands who, intentionally or not, seemed to be more focused on emulating our U.K. neighbours than developing their own authentic sound. Whilst this can be a commercially successful exercise, it brings nothing new to the table for the genuine music fan, and I hope that doesn't come across in any way as snobbish!

I mention this because more and more acts appear to be taking stock of what music fans want rather than what they think they should be doing to attain success. Pursued by Dogs definitely fit into this bracket, and it's probably not all that surprising if you look at the band members respective backgrounds in music, these guys aren't wet between the ears.

Opening with 'Talk' this is self-evident, I'm immediately aware I'm listening to something that will explore avenues I want to hear. A seemingly simple triumvirate of synth, drum-pad and vocal sets a gradually widening soundscape that the listener can wander around with ease and start to absorb with little effort. Having first featured single 'Iceland' here in August of last year, listening to it anew and with a chunky passage of time has lead to far more appreciation, in some ways it works as being on the right side of the window of contemporary electronic music, it has strong popular elements (there are mini moments where I almost burst into Journey's 'Don't Stop (Believin')' in my head - but why?!), but sticks to its guns in terms of delivering a highly enjoyable upbeat tempo and simultaneously avoiding formulaic trappings. 

Pursued by Dog - Talk

I'm loving the moody flow of 'Banish the Spiders', the dual snap and click of the percussion, how the slow-breathing synth supports the keys and a nice sliver of 80's electro-pop all moving in circles, as if reaching out blindly and trying to find each other in the dark. A well-timed change of pace arrives on 'Swap Dimensions', it's really nice to hear the minimalist vocal interplay at the beginnig between frontman Andrew Brennan and Suzanne Purcell which in turn leads to a harmonic embrace. I'm a sucker for phat, thick n' gritty synth buzzes and behold they arrive at 2:42, yaws. 

The opening bars of 'Gliding Silence' give you pause for breath, and is another example of the broad range PBD can dip their toes into, that pause doesn't last forever however with the track unfolding into a colourful piece of glittering neon tubthumping. 'Whiskey Ruin' is another delightful single from the album, as it crawls up from the floor into a rising dance-floor anthem, probably the track in this collection most primed for a remix collab, I can imagine stuttering vocals being interjected into the chorus.

Pursued by Dogs - Whiskey Ruin (Live)

'Ease' takes on a shape-shifting and more metallic hue, small and subtle elements of industrial electronica with a dash of grime (not the genre!) sliding across its synths and pads, electro credentials in full swing here, this is the track you close your eyes to and drift away on, hypnotic rhythms. The album closes with another previous single 'A Tunnel', which shoots right back to how it opened, and again differentiates it from your run of the mill electronic indie. I haven't mentioned it up until now, but there are so many examples on this album of how the band do what feels right for them, the word risk may be a little bit over the top, but Pursued by Dogs' debut would not have worked in the manner it has unless they discarded the outside and went with their gut, which they clearly have, and that's the only creative marker of success when it comes to making albums that are great, and not just good, everything else is just noise ;)

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1 comment:

  1. It was wondering if I could use this write-up on my other website, I will link it back to your website though.Great Thanks. dogs