(Photo Credit - Elvira Broman)
Advance Review - Dog Trainer: Scrolling to feel better… part one (March 26, 2021)
At the beginning of the Ohio Lockdown in 2020, I hoped people would take advantage of their time at home. Emotions were high, and with cooped-up leisure in abundance, creative minds had the opportunity to produce without judgment. I applaud the young musicians I have been listening to. Live audiences are key to bands' development, but Covid changed the rules. However, I feel like musicians have been addressing their feelings and expressing them through their studio music.
The new Dog Trainer album, Scrolling to feel better…part one, screams Covid. The mood in "Falling Forwards" is somber, even though it is possibly the most optimistic song on the album. While the atmosphere Dog Trainer produces conveys their feels, "2019" directly references contemporary situations: "Fuck I forgot my mask/Gotta go back." However, the band stretches the theme to create more timeless ideas: "2020 is the worst year ever/But 2019 wasn't so good either." The comparison opens the door to greater lessons.
While I want to liken them to Twenty One Pilots and The Black Keys, their mood is closer to Hall & Oats or Simon & Garfunkel. Their music is not aggressive or offensive and is a blend of late 80s, early 90s electronic rock and pop music. The intro to the first song on the album, "Dumb Paranoia," reminds me of the build in the Nine Inch Nails song, "Hurt." Yet, "Serious" sounds like a Julia Michael's song.
Scrolling to feel better…part one is Dog Trainer's sophomore album, and it takes a musical turn. Much like the album's lyrics, the album shows that this band will go where their hearts lead. They want to be honest and grow at the same time. Puppyhood, their first LP, offers more variety. However, Scrolling to feel better…part one tells a cohesive and connected story.
Final thought: I am excited to see where this band goes. Their exploration is a positive sign of the music to come.
Favorite Songs: "35 Days, 34 Nights," "Falling Forwards," and "Fake Happy :)"
Rating - 4/5 (It's a solid album from a band we will hear more from)