Dog Day – ‘Fadeout’

Review by Andrew Patterson

Dog Day is a relatively unassuming band. So unassuming that I find myself wondering pessimistically if I even like them. Every time they release an album, I say to myself ‘Do I really need another Dog Day album?’. And then I look to my record shelf and I see that I own all of their records. So, whetted by the fond memories of albums past, I listen to Fadeout, the band’s fourth album in a steady five-year run, and I am pleasantly reminded (fool that I am!) that I do need more Dog Day. In fact, I think everyone could use a little Dog Day here and there. Suddenly, I feel grateful that people like Seth Smith and Nancy Urich continue to make art that so effortlessly overcomes my hyper-critical listening habits.

Fadeout  finds the husband and wife duo working in familiar territory, making evocative, moderate rock music: songs that sound deceptively simple because they are immaculately constructed, with much of the heavy machinery tucked inside. Moving seamlessly through classic-rock tropes, down into sullen, confessional songwriting, Dog Day have come to inspire the oxymoronic adage ‘always the same, always different’.  And there is comfort to be found in that kind of work.

There is something beautiful about a band who understands itself well and continues to move gracefully through a career of their own accord, blissfully unaware of trends and industry. It’s the type of beauty that inspires ‘Favorite Band’ talk and, over time, results in a discography in which any given release may be argued best.

And so, having listened through Fadeout for the tenth time in as many days, I’m no longer wondering if I like Dog Day. Under the spell of the duo’s inspired writing and eerily detailed production, I’m starting to think that Fadeout may be the finest record in their quintessential catalogue.