For the past decade and a half, the Philadelphia band Dr. Dog has made fuzzed-out, psychedelic-tinged rock. Now, in an effort to master subtle dynamics, the group has eased into a softer, slower sound on its new album, Critical Equation, allowing more room for instruments and voices. Producer-engineer Gus Seyffert lends Critical Equation a rich pre-rock-and-roll aesthetic that’s more in line with Frank Sinatra and old-time cinema. For example, the record’s third track, “Buzzing in the Light,” is a gorgeously rendered dreamscape over which co-vocalist Toby Leaman waxes poetic on the mysterious depths of the universe. It’s slow and spacious and a good indication of the new sound.
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