The reception of Philadelphia’s Dogs on Acid will inevitably be influenced by its members’ former projects, Algernon Cadwallader and Snowing. Not even the band itself really dwells on it much, though, so neither should fans; bassist Nate Dionne explains that, “Our past bands really never come up [in conversation]; we just know so much about each other that it’s never a discussion we really have.” Preconceptions aside, Dogs on Acid simply doesn’t sound much like its predecessors. Although the band’s past lives played their pretense-free part in ushering in the once-buzzy emo revival, their current output fits better within the canon of stripped-down ’90s indie rock.
The first single from their self-titled debut, due August 28 on Jade Tree, gives us a good taste of the in-your-face riffs to come. “The Prick” eschews the mathematical complexity of Algernon and Snowing in favor of a straightforwardness that lets Dogs on Acid sound bigger and fuller than the sum of its parts. This robustness serves as a sonically different but similarly powerful soundtrack for the group’s confessionals, channeled through Peter Helmis’ whine that’s equal parts anger and insecurity. Dogs on Acid proves that while you can take the emo kids out of emo, you can’t take the angst out of the emo kids.
Dogs on Acid is out August 28 on Jade Tree.