On their third full-length album, Halifax indie rockers Dog Day strip down from a four-piece to a duo and take a more fiercely DIY approach than ever. Seth Smith, who handles songwriting, guitar and vocals, and Nancy Urich, who learned drums for this new configuration, self-produced the album, silk-screened the artwork, assembled the packaging and released it on their new label, FunDog. (They also moved to the country and bought chickens.)
It's a step back from their affiliations with Outside and Tomlab, and is sonically less interesting than 2009's Concentration, which burst with inventive arrangements. We're left simply with the raw songs, delivered unadorned via fuzz-drenched guitars, vocals and thrashing drums. Evoking Hüsker Dü, the Nils, Chad VanGaalen and Eric's Trip, they're scrappy, driving and melodic yet consistently skirt saccharine-sweetness thanks to Smith's casual delivery, disenchanted lyrics and heavy, mind-melty guitar tones. The hooks, then, come as little gifts.
Top track: In The Woods