Dog of Panic is a prog-rock band out of Springfield, Illinois with a very cross-generational sound. With one foot in the 80’s rock scene and one foot breaking ground in today’s rock market Dog of Panic becomes a force to be reckoned with. The three member band really pour their heart and soul into their most recent album Tip of the Tongue, released in February 2013.
Before listening to any album I always read over the titles of the track to see if I can figure out what I’m getting into. With titles like Big Fat Hissy Fit, Saurce or No Sauce? And Pee In Your Butt I truly wasn’t expecting much more than a juvenile album of beginner musicians going for shock value. Holy hell can I ever admit when I am wrong.
Dog of Panic’s Tip of the Tongue is a musical odyssey. The album is so well constructed and is musically flawless. With hat tips to all notions of musical genres Dog of Panic manages to mix an 80’s rock theme with current alt-rock genres, along with ties to funk, jazz and punk.
The second thing you are going to notice after the professional musicianship is the very distinct vocals for lead singer Dan Rohdhe. At first I found them off-kilter and felt like they clashed with the music, but the more I listened to the album the more they took on a life of their own. Rohde is able to take, what sound like, untrained vocals, and make them a significant part of the music. In the same way that Gordon Downie of The Tragically Hip has made his vocals the defining part of their band Rohde’s vocals stick out and really help guide the music.
There aren’t any really weak songs on the album, but some of the strongest ones include the opening track Stromboli, Admiral, Atoning Through Thought, Lysergic and Hurdles, which has a resonation very similar to one of my favourite bands out of Atlanta, Georgia, Rehab.
And, I was harping on titles earlier on this track earlier on in this review, but Sauce or No Sauce? is clearly one of the best musical tracks on this album. And despite the juvenile aspects of the lyrics of Pee in Your Butt, the music is once again a whole lot of fun… it’s a shame that the content of the song is so contradictory to the seriousness of the rest of the album.