Dog Is Dead

All Our Favourite Stories

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Dog Is Dead have laid the youthful anthems of their previous EPs aside to make way for polished, stadium-sized choruses that retain their knack for brilliant harmonies and great melodies on their debut All Our Favourite Stories. Their unashamedly pop-influenced hooks are both ambitious and infectious, and deserved of the slick production that has been lavished on the Nottingham-based five-piece’s first full-length release. Lead singer Rob Milton's flamboyant vocal delivery doesn’t stray far from the warm tones of Noah & the Whale frontman Charlie Fink's gentle baritone or the measured control of Alt-J's Joe Newman, but set alongside the harmonies that have become a staple of their sound, Milton leads the band through anthemic chorus after anthemic chorus. Album-opener “Get Low,” however, bucks the trend of much of the rest of the record, with a winding bassline and offbeat drums keeping the track in check just as Milton threatens to lead it into an explosive chorus. It’s this restraint that allows “Get Low” to develop naturally and really sets it apart from the rest of the album. Dog Is Dead's appetite for melodies is obvious throughout, the euphoric choruses all seem to be written for mass singalongs, even songs that start in a low-key manner, such as “Teenage Daughter,” manage to build themselves into a frenetic ending. The quirky, angular guitars bring comparisons of Vampire Weekend and tour mates Bombay Bicycle Club, with tracks like “Do the Right Thing” and “Hands Down” bearing particular reference. The ‘80s influences don’t quite stop at the synth and keyboard hooks that adorn the moody “Two Devils” and “Any Movement,” but also come via Lawrence “Trev” Cole's saxophone. Although it is used sporadically throughout the album, avoiding becoming gimmicky, it does feature heavily on fan-favorite “The Glockenspiel Song” -- one of only two songs that appeared on the EP -- which benefits from the jazzy blows of Cole’s sax. While this is their debut release, there is a sense that Dog Is Dead are still growing and maturing as a band. Having been together since school, All Our Favourite Stories feels like a transition from the youthful endeavors of their former years and into the early stages of young adulthood.

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