This has become a year that won’t be forgotten. For whatever reason someone felt personally victimized by 2016, one thing is for sure, countless influential and inspiring music releases have been a saving grace. Dr. Dog adds themselves to that list with the release of their second album this year, Abandoned Mansion.
Dr. Dog’s description of the album on bandcamp, between jabs calling out other bands as “lightweights,” illustrates that the band wanted to give its audience a calm transition to another year. Abandoned Mansion recognizes the utter turmoil that has shrouded these last twelve thrilling months and awards the survivors with a stripped down, mood record.
Going back to the basics of what makes Dr. Dog, Dr. Dog, the band spent two weeks recording the songs live only adding in organ tracks in an effort to showcase, “this is Dr. Dog meat and potatoes.” Abandoned Mansion radiates simplicity like light through the fog.
The album is composed of ten tracks, each one spinning and weaving their own personal narrative. The lyrics are straight forward and familiar, varying from the heartbreak found in “Jim Song,” to sudden realizations that sometimes life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in the blunt track, “I Know.” Abandoned Mansion is a space that houses forgotten artifacts of loves gone wrong, moral quandaries and other buried memories that can lead the listener back through the moments that solidified their character.
Accompanying listeners back into their true elements, this psychedelic, indie-rock group preaches acceptance and patience. The record aims to bring people some balance and composure, “Well, sometimes love is all it's supposed to be, But it can break you, Remember, take care of your heart” self-care shouldn’t be shoved in the backseat for a whirlwind romance reminds “Survive,” echoing the undertones of heartbreak in “Jim Song” that wounded pride lasts longer than a bleeding heart.
The record closes out with a song of the same name; “Abandoned Mansion” has a vocal style familiar to the stylings of previous albums: Be the Void and Fate. Almost the longest track on the album, this five minute sendoff compresses the entirety of the emotional spectrum strewn together throughout Abandoned Mansion in a raw slow dance with the closing message, “but hope survives by wandering, lost in time. In truth, so clear, we are not fake, if not here”