Dog Bite

Tranquilizers

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AllMusic Review by

By the time Dog Bite released their second album, Tranquilizers, it was a full-fledged band instead of the project of Phil Jones. With Woody Shortridge on bass and Tak Takemura on drums, Dog Bite already added more substance to Jones' pleasantly woozy dream pop on a series of EPs leading up to Tranquilizers' release. However, the band sounds more fleshed-out and focused than ever on these songs, which were inspired in part by soul legends such as Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes. These influences don't come through in obvious ways; there are no awkward or overly ambitious mash-ups here. Instead, Jones and company deliver songs that are more focused and emotional -- if not exactly soulful in the traditional sense -- than before. Songs like "Clarinets" and "Lady Queen" are just as soaring as Dog Bite's earlier songs, but with more focus and impact, while "Tuesdays" and "Wonder Dark" show that there's a sharper edge to their hooks this time around. More atmospheric tracks like "Dream Feast" and "We" prove that Dog Bite haven't completely abandoned their washy, experimental side, but even on these songs it's clear that the band's sound is far more honed than it was on Velvet Changes. Just as pretty but more purposeful than Jones' previous output, Tranquilizers makes good on the promise of Dog Bite's debut and then some.

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