Multi-band EP ‘Dog Daze Split’ offers sampling of local music

Ben Shooter, Contributing Reporter

Dog Daze Split, released Sept. 16, is essentially a sampler of the local noise-rock/punk scene. The extended play features four different bands, each contributing one song, and all sharing an obsession with rapid tempo and fuzz guitar. 

The EP kicks off with Grotto Girl’s “Art School Asshole Finds God At Buds.” The song, just under two minutes in length, provides a snappy introduction to the sound the rest expands upon. Catchy vocal harmonies and a shredding lead guitar distract from a stereotypical pop-punk chord progression. The song suffers from a very weak drum kick that fails to hit as hard as it should.  Even though the song belongs to the “lo-fi noise rock” genre, putting a bit more into the production would certainly have benefited the song.

The next track is “Herbsman” by Yuppie Teeth, a loud, aggressive song calling to memory “Never Mind the Bollocks,” but completely lacking Steve Jones’ lead guitar mastery.  However, the riffs are definitely present and the singer certainly channels the violent vocals of Johnny Rotten.

The Yelephants provide the third track with “Stop Breathing.” The slowest, most melodic on the album, the song boasts the only distinctive guitar tone without fuzz distortion on the project. The chord progression lends enough excitement to make the song memorable. The song is full of dissonant harmonies that actually work in its favor and make it musically stimulating. The laid-back groove contributes a welcome respite that prevents the EP from settling into repetition. 

The album closes with Neat’s, “Gnarfield,” a short, fast song eerily similar to the EP’s beginning. The track sounds like a variation of Grotto Girl’s approach, sharing the same generic chord progression reliant on vocal harmonies and interesting guitar leads to distinguish it. However, Neat supplies tighter vocal harmonies and a sophisticated and catchy harmonized guitar run. The band stood out because they used their musical skill and attention to production to enhance their music without compromising the sound they wanted.  

The EP, overall, does not bring anything particularly new or unexpected to the table as far as the genre is concerned, but it is a worthwhile listen for fans of old-school punk, pop-punk, or garage rock.  Varying production values and occasionally simplistic melodies aside, the songs are aggressive, fun, and accessible all at once.