EP Review: Dogleg – Dogleg

Dogleg play frenetic, angular indie punk with elements of post-hardcore, emo and pop; FFO: Knapsack, Japandroids & Bloc Party. Dogleg’s new self titled EP is an exciting testament to what a home recorded bedroom project can achieve, encompassing a wealth of diverse influences and sounds to make a raw but extremely accomplished feeling record.

Michigan based Alex Stoitsiadis is the former the drummer and main songwriter of high school garage band Sleeping Pilots and the sole creator of Dogleg, which is now Alex’s main musical project. Recorded with the assistance of a couple of friends, two microphones and a basement, this latest release has a lo-fi aesthetic that accentuates both the level of musicianship and the bleak tone running throughout. Alex has commented on this by saying that most of the lyrical content of the record can be interpreted as a narration of the fight against depression, an emotional bluntness that is neatly paired with the catchy hooks and guitar riffs that make Dogleg’s music so irrepressible.

“Moonlight” is a succinct and effective introductory track, carefully simple instrumentation building towards a poppy climax which segues nicely into the rest of the record. “Jetpacks” is reminiscent of American punky emo, with wailing vocals over distorted guitars and some intricately picked lead parts in the latter half of the song (the Scott Pilgrim sound bite is also a fun choice). The sharp riffs of “Calling Collect” seem to have more in common with British indie rock and roll bands of the early 2000s, especially during the chorus sections and the neat little tremolo solo towards the end. “Modern Language” is the final and arguably the strongest song on the record, again similar in feel to other recent emo tinged bands and with a real emphasis on punchy guitar parts to underpin the drawling vocals. Very catchy. 

This record is a really strong demonstration of Alex’s song writing ability and demonstrates an overall aesthetic feel for Dogleg, from instrumentation and lyrical content to the matching artwork between releases. With this project Alex shows the strong relationships between him and the people that inspire his music (even the name Dogleg is a reference to modern post-hardcore outfit Bear vs Shark), while cultivating a distinct and individual sound.

didn’t try to sound like a particular band, I just wanted to make music that I was proud of and I feel really proud of this project.

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Liam Pritchett

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