Dog Brothers is a solo project for Max Barth who occasionally gets some contributions from Patrick Barnes and Joe Messina. They released an album entitled Somehow The Light, which is beyond a lo-fi effort that contains what could be considered melancholy pop.
The production is hard to get past. Things like compression, proper EQing and balancing aren’t things you will find on this release. The songs are composed on guitars that either play root notes or basic chords, which are occasionally interjected with digital drums. At their best the songs could be compared to that of The Magnetic Fields.
The highlight of the album is the very first song entitled “There It Goes,” which has a 1950’s pop vibe that I would have liked to hear more of. Although the guitars are far too thin the solid vocal work is able to carry the song. The album is pretty much hit or miss after that. “Somehow The Light” contains muffled, distorted vocals, which are often very hard to make out while “In Yellow” is unlistenable because of the digital distortion and untamed surge in vocal level.
“Ring With The Love” is decently written despite some of the sour notes and masking of the vocals that comes from the guitars. Another mild success is “Half a Dozen,” which has the guitars at a decent level and showcases some creative effort.
Apparently, Barth is mainly a comedian and a writer but music is a thing that he keeps coming back to. If Barth is a hobbyist and is happy with the result then by all means he should continue doing what he is doing but if he is serious about making music more of a full time gig he is going to have to do some tweaking from a production and creative standpoint. In all honesty he has some talent but will need to spend more time honing his skills. A case of wait and see.
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