Dr. Dog delivers psych-rock from the ills of uninspired contemporaries

The thing I like most about music is its versatility. Music can mean so many different things to so many different people.

The interpretation is totally dependent on the listener. That being said, any fool can bang on drums and make a song, but it takes real talent to create something visceral.

Psychedelic rock band via Philadelphia, Dr. Dog, has an interesting style that falls into that category.

It’s spontaneous enough to make you want to dance, yet still draws you in with thoughtful lyrics.

Don’t let the Psychedelic rock label deter you: their music has a familiar, free melodic feel comparable to Sondre Lerche and the noteworthy Edward Sharpe, with friendly bubbly vocals similar to the Beatles timbre.

Dr. Dog made their debut in 2002 with “Toothbrush” and has since released five albums.

The diversity of their music has a wide appeal. I’ve found it everywhere from commercials to college radio stations and movie soundtracks.

Most recently, I’ve been concentrating on their 2008 release “Fate” which topped the Billboard 200s at number 86 in August of that year.

Their fanbase is able to reach listeners of many generations because of the various characters the music embodies.

At times revolutionary electric reminiscent of 1960s masterpieces, then busy pianos, rhythm guitars and friendly tambourines take over.

The instruments work together harmoniously, blending with grace and never interrupting the continuity of the album.

One of my favorite tracks on the album, “Army of Ancients,” incorporates Dr. Dog’s variability in an ode to some of Aesop’s Fables.

It opens with lo-fi, jazzy piano riffs and swanky vocals courtesy of lead Toby Leaman.

The song then breaks into a rapid crescendo of drums between leading to a hoarse whirling yelp from Leaman that’s somehow fulfilling.

The song’s simple bravado and innocent lyrics are invigorating and sweet—an energizing combination.

The cries from Dr. Dog’s instruments flow with a quavering twang, resonating warm images like the wide-open road, laughter and fun, dusty sunsets and summer nights.

Their music incorporates a lot of my favorite sounds, and obviously I’m biased, but “Fate” is a champion of records, and a glorious example of an artist who understands the power of music.