Dog Fashion Disco
Sweet Nothings


3.5
great

Review

by Lambda USER (69 Reviews)
July 26th, 2014 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Poor production brings down an otherwise fairly successful comeback release.

Dog Fashion Disco's 2006 effort Adultery was a phenomenal avant-garde metal/jazz/spoken word/country/everything record. It was also their last release before their break-up in 2007. However, seven years later, they are back, with a host of shows on the horizon, a renewed energy, and a new record titled Sweet Nothings-- the subject of this review.

The album opens with the dark, jazzy "Greta." Featuring a great saxophone solo, typically excellent vocals from Todd Smith, and a distinct sorrowful atmosphere, it is a fantastic introduction. Imagine a smoky jazz club. You are the last one inside and you're sitting at the bar and have had a few (or more than a few) drinks, and your suit is askew. You're thinking about a woman who has abandoned you. She's gone, and you know it-- but that doesn't mean you're going to give up on getting her back. This track paints a beautiful picture. What a disappointment, then, that after it ends we are thrown abruptly into a generic heavy metal riff backed by an annoyingly flat drum sound. "War Party" isn't a bad song, but it really disrupts the atmosphere that "Greta" had going. I get that Dog Fashion Disco is an 'everything goes' band and abrupt changes are to be expected, but in this case such a tonal shift doesn't really work.

This brings me to one of the record's main problems-- production. Sweet Nothings is marred by a muddy guitar sound and poor mixing job. One way that poor mix manifests itself is in the vocals. They are way too quiet in spots. Take "Tastes So Sweet" - the chorus vocals are ridiculously low in the mix. Why? This is absolutely baffling to me, because it really hurts the song and mitigates an incredibly catchy hook. Also, as aforementioned, the guitar sound is muddy, and the drum sound is very flat. It's a shame, because these are great songs for the most part-- the production hampers them.

The album hits a pothole in the middle with "Approach and Recede," a rather generic (by Dog Fashion Disco standards) metal number. "Down the Rabbit Hole" follows and is a much more exciting track, though it's again hampered by poor production-- the vocals are way too quiet. With better work in that department, this song could have been an album highlight. Thankfully, the actual album highlight "We Aren't the World" comes in after it. This is a song that manages to transcend its muddy production job due to the strength of the songwriting and melodies. I especially love the use of "It's a Small World" juxtaposed with heavy circus metal.

Ultimately, Sweet Nothings is not a bad record; it's just a shame that the mix is so poor. Were the sound clearer, this album would be infinitely more enjoyable. The muddy production casts a shadow over the entire affair, not rendering the record unlistenable but detracting from its overall presentation. Todd Smith mentions in the Untitled ending track (a 9-minute thank you to those who pledged money for the album's creation) that the band is recording a follow-up record next year. I hope the production is better, because if it is, we may have one of the best records of 2015 on our hands.



Recent reviews by this author
Faith No More Sol InvictusFinch Say Hello to Sunshine
Casualties of Cool Casualties of Coolfresh beatZ The Misunderstood
Avenged Sevenfold Hail to the KingBuckethead Pike 13
user ratings (111)
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
greg84 EMERITUS (4.5)
A triumphant return that re-establishes the band as eclectic metal luminaries....



Comments:Add a Comment 
Supercoolguy64
July 26th 2014


10689 Comments


Good review

Digging: Bench - The Return and Exit of the Chaven Kline Buzz Kill

Lambda
July 26th 2014


2654 Comments


Thanks!

By the way, for anyone interested, you can stream the record here: http://www.revolvermag.com/news/dog-fashion-disco-premiere-new-album-sweet-nothings.html

deathschool
July 26th 2014


27315 Comments


Disagree, but will read.

deathschool
July 26th 2014


27315 Comments


I actually think the production here is incredibly crisp, and I think their songwriting is also about on par with Adultery. But well written review. Pos.

Calc
July 26th 2014


16734 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i kinda agree with death, i dont remember adultery note for note but this seems like the exact same type of album in just about every way to me

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
July 26th 2014


10974 Comments


I did think the production sounded a little raw from the tracks I've heard but it didn't bother me much. The first heavy track is especially noticeable production wise.

Lambda
July 26th 2014


2654 Comments


Thanks deathschool Calc, to me this one seems a lot darker in tone than Adultery (which had its dark moments).

Detective Dan
July 26th 2014


242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The instrumentation sounds great, especially with everything that's going on, it's just the vocals are spotty at points. It's not that bad.

Lambda
July 26th 2014


2654 Comments


I disagree - to me it sounds muddy and stuff tends to blend together. But to each his own. And thanks CelestialOuroboros! I've never heard Stolen Babies, so I can't say.

deathschool
July 26th 2014


27315 Comments


Some of the choruses on here, like Tastes so Sweet and Doctor's Orders, are the best I've heard in a while. And I kind of get where you're coming from with the muddied mix, because a lot of the instruments do seem to almost be riding the same recording track, but I can still pick everything out. I think the slickness of the mix was intended so as not to overpower the finished product, but more importantly, I feel like it worked fantastically. I guess I can maybe see how it'd be a turn off for some people though.

IleftyspankedU
July 27th 2014


765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Were the sound clearer, this album would infinitely more enjoyable



Missed the BE. Otherwise, pos'd

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 27th 2014


5456 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, pos. I like the album, it's very diverse. However, at some point it's too much IMO. And yes, the production doesn't help a lot of the times.

Lambda
July 27th 2014


2654 Comments


IleftyspankedU: whoops, I'll fix that. Thanks for the pos!

Thanks insomniac! Yeah, I like the diversity- it could have been more tastefully organized though (a la the error of War Party coming right after Greta). And yup the production... : (

greg84
Emeritus
July 27th 2014


7645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hmmm (Greg sighting)

Gyromania
October 12th 2014


32526 Comments


excellent review! agree with the rating

Lambda
October 13th 2014


2654 Comments


Thanks man : )



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy