I have very little information about the band St. Peter's Dog besides that it is made up of two guys from different towns. Matt lives in San Francisco, CA and Doug lives in Asheville, NC and they either sent files digitally or got together to release Hubcaps and Things. Hubcaps and Things which is a fifteen-song album that feels like it could fall apart at any moment (as if the album was alive and had ingested a bunch of Vicodin).
I say that in the best way possible in that the beauty of the album is that the songs never do fall apart. They are held together with guitar, banjos, subdued percussion elements and vocals that are delivered without a second thought. The vocals are essential to the lackadaisical vibe that is relaxing and makes you feel as if these guys don’t have a worry in the world. The other key to success is that the songs are well written despite sometimes feeling like skeletons. The duo put some thought into the structures and textures of these songs and it pays off.
The song “San Juan” might remind you of the guitar riff in “Jane Says” by Jane’s Addiction. Other than that the song doesn’t have too much in common with Jane's Addiction. “San Juan” is loose and indicative of what else you can expect from this album. “Caroline James” is a certified highlight, which revolves around a rattle-ly acoustic guitar and a slide guitar. I was reminded of Beck’s One Foot in the Grave at times and thought the harmonica was a nice touch and the vocal line was exceptional.
“Mighty Good People” sounds like a traditional country song sung in the backwoods of Tennessee. The mix of banjo and synth is an excellent combo that is soft and enticing. “Accidentally Drunk in Waynesville Again” may just be the best song on the album. The clinks and clacks from the percussion perfectly fit the band's style and I loved the delivery of the line “Accidentally Drunk in Waynesville Again.” As the album progresses they were a couple songs that stood out including “Tell It to the Gypsum Train,” “Big Baby” and the closer “Growing Old.”
My only minor complaint about Hubcap and Things is that I think it would have benefited at a shorter track count. By the fifteenth track the album was getting a bit laborious and I felt ten to eleven tracks would have been more effective. Overall, Hubcap and Things is an original sounding album that mixes a number of different styles in a unique way.
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