It’s been a few years now since the New York Times published their glowing profile of Philly’s Dr. Dog, and not a whole lot has changed for the band. They sell a few more records, and they draw decently across the country, but as far as the music goes, they still only push themselves as far as the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Band.
With Fate they came into a bigger recording budget than they’d had in the past, giving them the freedom to move beyond the rickety, lo-fi sounds they built their career around, and they handled themselves well — never getting carried away with too many layers or too many instruments. They’ve kept the key ingredients (gently twangy guitar, vocal harmonies, a sharp pop sensibility) intact, only now they’re a bit more front and center in the mix. It doesn’t bode well for the record that the most interesting thing about it is the way it was recorded, but, such is life when you keep writing the exact same kind of songs over and over again.