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Golden Dogs - 3 ½

  by Mark Rowland

published: 18 / 4 / 2015

Golden Dogs - 3 ½
Label: Grand Stand Records
Format: CD


Energetic but unfocused fourth album from Toronto-based power pop band the Golden Dogs, who have been affected by major line-up changes

Canadian power pop band The Golden Dogs made some significant line up changes for their fourth album. Singer Jessica Grassia moved from playing keys to drums, and Stefanie McCarrol and Alejandro Cairncross joined the band on guitar/keys and bass respectively. It is perhaps because of the line up changes that some of this album seems a little half-baked. The Golden Dogs’ sound is big and sunny and quite polished – it feels like it should be unfair to compare them to the New Pornographers, but the bands are undeniably similar. The band have wisely kept it short on ‘3 ½’, being essentially a new band (Grassia and singer guitarist Dave Azzolini are the only original members left), but while it definitely has its moments. The best of those moments come when the band channels the 80s. Opener ‘Decided’ is 80’s funk pop (though the cheap keyboard horn sound might be a step too far), and MK Ultra uses driving synths and guitars. Elsewhere, the band’s guitar pop sound exhilarates and grates in equal measure. The sound is generally quite cluttered, which occasionally overwhelms the songs ‘Feel Like a Bridge’, for example, pulls it off, while ‘Spider Legs’ gets a little lost. ‘Parade’ keeps things simple, and is more enjoyable for it, sounding a bit early Elvis Costello. The biggest misstep is ‘Do It For You’, which has been highlighted as a stand out by the band. It’s catchy, but repetitive, and he chorus becomes a bit maddening after a while. It’s a shame, as it’s the only song that Grassia takes the lead on. This is a band that is still coming to terms with a new line-up change, however. The band clearly has a lot of energy, it now needs a little more focus.

Track Listing:-
1 Decided
2 Do It For You
3 Pretending
4 Feel Like a Bridge
5 Parade
6 Spider Legs
7 MK Ultra

Band Links:-

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