Hip-D Top 20 of 2006 » #14 » The Format - "Dog Problems"
“The guy from The Decemberists wishes he could be the guy from The Format,” is the note I wrote myself on my desk calendar when I started to think about how to review Dog Problems, the wonderfully engaging album from this Phoenix, Arizona band. What does that mean? I guess it means that both bands seem to try and roll a lot of different stylistic things into their music, both often feeling a little on the carnival-esque side, even -– the main difference for me, though (and the certain reason for the envy), is that Nate Reuss can actually sing and sing pretty damn well.
Most people seem to immediately cite Queen as a singular influence on Dog Problems, and while they do emulate the layered vocal harmonies, weird tempo shifts, incredibly tight playing and sparkling production, Reuss also brings a softer, personal touch to his songs (largely about a breakup) that keep them from being either robotic or schmaltzy, even as the music is going off into schizophrenic territory. And they bring the rock. And the weird keyboard hooks.
-- Yail Bloor
Yail Bloor's Favorite Track: "Time Bomb"
This album appeared on the following staffers's lists:
- Patrick (#4)
- Loog (#11)
- Yail Bloor (#16)