Halifax indie rockers Dog Day are wrapping up their Canadian tour with a show in Moncton on Friday June 26. The group has been on the road in support of their newest record Concentration (their second full-length) which hit stores in April.
Dog Day began in 2005 as a recording project for Seth Smith’s folk-oriented songs following the demise of his former band, The Burdocks. Soon after, he was joined by Nancy Urich (also of The Burdocks) and KC Spidle & Crystal Thili of hardcore act The Hold. This line-up led Smith’s songs down a more punk-influenced path of power-chords and one-note leads.
Their debut LP Night Group earned the band accolades from Billboard and Spin Magazine while the group toured relentlessly through Canada, the US and Europe. Their extensive tour schedule ended up playing a significant part in shaping their newest record.
“Touring definitely had an influence on this record. I remember we wrote ‘Rome’ in Italy after a wild euro-dance party the night before,” says front man Seth Smith. “You’re exposed to a lot of different music on the road that you may not normally hear. I think it helped us have a fresh perspective going into the recording.”
The bulk of Dog Day’s new record was recorded in the fall of 2008 in their own studio in Halifax. Once the group completed the basic tracking for Concentration, they decamped to Water Music Recorders in Hoboken, New Jersey to finish the record with producer John Agnello who has worked on records by artists such as Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth and Redd Kross.
“John had an open window of two weeks and liked the material so off we went. Everything he did was great; he’s got great taste and is a total pro. The band had spent a lot of time with these songs and I think it helped to have him take things over with a fresh ear. He had a knack of finding the charm of a song and expanding on it. We had a pretty clear vision of what sounds we were looking for going in and he really helped us nail it.”
Each of Concentration’s 11 songs are draped in shadow and melody, ranging from driving hooks of “Wait it Out” to the melancholic calm of “Rome.” Concentration sees the band weave together a sound perfect for dancing with the skeletons in the closet.
Dog Day’s upcoming Moncton show brings their Canadian tour to a close. While on the road across the country, the band had the pleasure of playing seven dates with Moncton’s own Julie Doiron.
“We love touring with Julie and company; I really feel like we’re family now. Julie and her band sounded really good this tour, a really rocking band. The crowds were very enthusiastic and we had the chance to meet a lot of interesting people. It was rad.”
The band has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Doiron and her cohorts in Moncton band Eric’s Trip. The two bands toured together in the summer of 2008 and revisited the relationship this March when they recorded a four song EP with Rick White, including a song that White had written specifically for the band. These new songs will see release this summer on 7″ vinyl by Divorce Records and digitally by Outside Music.
So could Dog Day one day ascent to be the indie rock kings and queens of the Maritimes? I suspect that the band would be too humble to accept such a title but they just might find themselves saddled with it none the less.
Dog Day will be performing at the Manhattan Bar & Grill in Moncton on Friday June 26. Also performing will be their special guests Thee Requiems and Purple Knight, the latter of whom is celebrating their 35th anniversary together! Admission to the show is $8 and is restricted to those 19 years of age and older.
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