October 18, 2016

LP: Dog Tears - Dog Tears

Dog Tears will flip off your ex for you. 

I've always questioned my own self-worth in relation to others, especially in the face of stark loneliness. When I can’t connect to people at a party and it seems like I’m constantly saying the wrong thing, it’s easy to lose grip and spiral into detrimental anxiety that makes me want to give everything up and leave. And yet when I feel like I’m cast aside and deemed unimportant by others, I occasionally feel a surge of anger, and one question screams from my core as clear as ever: Why am I not good enough? Philadelphia-based rockers Dog Tears don’t have my answer, but they sonically phrase my question in many ways I never could. Their raucous self-titled LP perfectly encapsulates that wavering between sullen inadequacy and bouts of rage that many of us have all endured.

Chock-a-block with crunching guitar riffs, drudging percussion, and uninhibited vocals, the five-piece depicts the difficult marriage of sorrow, anger and even rare, captivating scenes of intimacy. Using frank and straightforward lyrics, Dog Tears don’t beat around the bush. From chaotic head-bangers to tender love ballads, they refuse to adhere to a single mood in their narrative; each song lets us peer into different stages of a relationship. The opening track “SOB” is a raw nerve exposed that highlights the cyclical catch-22 of trying to end a relationship. Unrestrained white-hot frustration courses through the vocal melody as singer Liz McGourty screams louder and louder, “I am not enough / You won’t give me up.” Amidst the bitterness and gritty guitar strumming, they offer poignant glimpses of romantic warmth on “Toast.” As they describe the plain and simple joy of waking up next to a your partner, they also remind us the frail temporality of sharing the same bed with the line, “You are yours and I’m mine / Our edges overlap.” This full-length is a volatile work that's best listened to when you sever all ties, block your ex on everything, and finally declare "RIP" to your past.


Listen to Dog Tears on bandcamp.

Meilyn Huq is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn who likes to put Tahin seasoning on everything and plays in the band Rhea. You can find her on twitter at @meilynhuq.