North-Western Pennsylvanian quarter Dog Day Sunrise is known for creating a bombastic yet soothing, gritty, and balls-to-the-wall blend of blues, hard rock, and metal. They’ve been around the circuit since 1996, and to this day, are still smashing out tracks like they’re still their youthful, exuberant selves. ‘When The Sky Comes Down’ is their latest album to hit production, and we here at Overdrive got our hands on it to see whether or not the sun is still bright for Dog Day Sunrise.
The ‘Blue Collar’ Foursome is comprised of band members Matt Zurat (vocals/rhythm guitar/lead guitar), Anthony Manning (lead/rhythm guitar), Bill Cox (bass guitar), and Joe Bishop (drums).
The album opens up with Leviathan, boasting an acoustic guitar introduction before a much heavier tone kicks down the door. Where the vocals may fall a little short of the mark, the instrumental work surrounding it holds its own and carries the track from beginning to end. With that all being said, for an opening track, it still packs all the necessities required, and overall isn’t a bad track. It might just come down to personal taste.
Seconds in Dallas (Camelot is Burning) opens with an eclectic mix of television/radio transmissions and a distant guitar riff before the band turns the dial up and the heaviness increases to eleven. In many ways, the track is very Rob Zombie-esque, but they have enough unique personality throughout to stamp it as their own. This, in a matter of opinion, seems to be where they find themselves most comfortable and find their ‘true sound’. If this is the case, we are in for one hell of a ride!
Temple of Anger not only demonstrates instrumental prowess, but the vocal talents have heightened somewhat (in comparison to the opening track Leviathan). Vocally, you can see a definite progression and its delivery within Temple of Anger is nothing but smooth. Instrumentally, it is outstanding. No wonder these guys are still rocking so many years after being founded; because they still rock!
You’ve got to give Dog Days their due: instrumentally, they are absolutely on point, and Vinyl highlights that exact fact. Not to mention the progression of the vocals from the opening of the album up until this point. This just might be one of their best performances on the album instrumentally, so don’t skip this one!
Goodnight America opens with a combination of ballsy instrumentals and the emulation of a crowd, instantly transporting you to what feels like a ’80s rock music video. The tempo shifts and then the vocal talent not only now showing progression but boasting confidence cuts through and smacks this one for a home run. Crank up the volume, and appreciate this one for all its worth!
The tempo strips itself right back with Telling the Wolves, treating us to a sombre acoustic arrangement which combines with heavier tones around the chorus. The gritty, earthiness in the vocals lends to this track tenfold, and being delivered as a slower-paced acoustically-driven arrangement allows the listener to experience a more vulnerable side of the band.
Cheating the Gallows opens with a drum fill that instantaneously brings you back to the other side of Dog Days; the more upbeat, boisterous performance we’ve seen throughout the album. There’s not much to fault, yet everything to love about this track. Instrumentally you’ll experience some of the more solid work of the album, especially during the solo breaks, and vocally, it’s one of the strongest performances of the album also. Could this be a foreshadowing of a huge finish?
If ever there was a song you were going to choose to cover on an album you’ve just pieced together, this track would surely have to be on top (or thereabouts) on most lists! With a performance that would put a smile on Phil Collins‘ face, In The Air Tonight rounds out the album with unique perspective and originality. This isn’t just a cover, but more so their own reimagining of the track, especially when those ballsy, heavy tones break through the fold. Just close your eyes and wait for the guitar solo that follows the infamous drum fill. What a finish!
‘When The Sky Comes Down’ is what you could call an eclectic fusion of melodic performance and sound; ambiance coming through throughout the album only heightens the overall performance of the band. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, however, I strongly urge all of you reading to check these guys out at least once. You might colour yourself surprised by what you find!
‘When The Sky Comes Down’ is out February 9, 2018. Check Dog Day Sunrise’s Facebook page to stay updated.