California's Dog Party comes in roaring on their latest LP.
California rockers Dog Party come in roaring on their latest LP 'Til You're Mine with Ramones-like riffs mixed with the youthful frenzy of caffeinated Powerpuff Girls. This combination was formerly reserved for really good soundtracks of past coming-of-age films, but in 2016 it still sounds as fresh as ever. Having themselves been born between the mid-nineties and Y2K, Dog Party’s members, sisters Gwendolyn and Lucy Giles, take us back to an era of music in which rage, electric guitars, and poppy melodies made for a perfect trio. It’s no wonder then that Green Day enlisted them as tour openers recently; much like pop-punk parents, they must have recognized the immense talent in songwriting and overall badassery present in this band.
With melodies a la The Go-Go’s along with Kat Bjelland-esque growls sprinkled throughout, Dog Party build upon a rich history of women creating great rock 'n roll. Thematically, these are love-slash-hate songs that start in the playground. It begins at their youth, whether it's memories of succumbing to peer pressure, experiencing intense hallway encounters, or just being bored at the thought of walking the same old streets every day. This focus on girlhood is reminiscent of the riot grrrls’ reclaiming of it, and if there was any doubt about it, their cover of Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl” on track 10 solidifies such an assumption. But it’s not all nineties: the duo also master a cover of Ty Segall’s former side project The Traditional Fools’ go-go dancing, surf-loving tune “Layback!!”, here stylized with an extra exclamation point just for good measure.
Ultimately, the Giles sisters stand well-rounded and tall amongst contemporaries their garage-y contemporaries. A standout track is the grunge-influenced “Oh You Know,” in which Dog Party sing directly to some mesmerizing Cool Cat. The album ends with a twenty-two second ditty aptly titled “Caffeine,” just in case you forgot what kind of music you’re dealing with (tip: it should be played at full volume). If there’s any way to ultimately describe this perfectly Californian pop punk album, it’s with a reference. There’s a scene in the cult classic 2000 film “Bring It On” in which Kirsten Dunst’s character, a now disillusioned cheerleader, decides to listen to the mixtape her The Clash-loving crush gave her. It starts off with a silly poem, but soon evolves into a pop punk song so sincere that it gets her on her feet and shaking her pom-poms, healed anew to the sound of a punk rocker singing “You’re just what I need.” Listening to ’Til You're Mine makes you feel that way too.
Listen to Dog Party on bandcamp.
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Natasha Villarraga is a graphic designer and writer in Brooklyn. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @silkstones.