Dog Party – Hit & Run (Brat, 2018)

Wow. It seems like only yesterday that Dog Party dropped their fifth album, Til You’re Mine on Asian Man Records. In reality it’s what… almost 2 years? Time flies, mate. Anyway, welcome back to the fray, Gwennie and Lucy Giles, a.k.a. Dog Party, one of the only exceptions to my rule of not liking two-piece bands. It’s a fairly exclusive club, mate. Feel proud to be a part of it!

Fresh off the back of Til You’re Mine, Dog Party headed out on tour with Green Day on some kind of huge tour. Crazy times, eh? Anyways, these amazing ladies from Sacramento are back with Hit & Run, their sixth full length joint, and again, I’m pretty excited.

There’s a bit of a different feel to this record. Obviously it’s full of powerpop hooks, and it still carries those riot grrrl and traditional pop punk influences, though. The key difference in style I’m picking up on here is an overt 60’s pop influence, rather than the slightly ‘surf’ feel of Til You’re Mine. There’s a whole Beach Boys, Everly Brothers, Manfred Mann kinda vibe underscoring this that puts me in mind of The Queers’ more saccharine feeling, poppier moments.

As a counterpoint to this, there is a distinct, meaty guitar tone running through the record brings to mind L7’s seminal Bricks Are Heavy record. Taken alongside sporadic lead licks that cheekily recall those 80s cock rock groups everyone is too cool to talk about these days, this record feels like a ton of fun.

Vocally, there’s an aching sweetness that in places reminds me all too clearly of my dream (emphasis on the dream) mid nineties date, Julianna Hatfield circa Only Everything. Generally speaking though, the vocal more reminds me of the parallel dual vocal harmonies of Karina Deniké and Elyse Rogers of Hawaii’s Dance Hall Crashers (whatever happened to them?). It’s the combination of the vocal and the bittersweet tales told in the lyrics that much like Til You’re Mine really make this record something special, though, as they explore heartbreak, failed relationships and the like.

I love this record. It ticks so many boxes for me. By which I’m sure many will be surprised, but hey-ho. I live to astonish people or some shit. Tony of Nurgle rating: 9.5/10

You can check this record out for yourself on the bandcamp player below:

The record is available on LP from the Dog Party webstore or on digital download on the Dog Party bandcamp page

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