There’s no denying that Australia loves its alternative rock, especially from the locals. Adelaide band Bad//Dreems won the hearts of fans and the praise from critics when they burst onto the scene in 2013 with their debut EP Badlands; so much so that they were presented with the Next Crop artist award by Triple J, naming them one of the bands to watch in 2014. Singles like Chills and Hoping For received a decent amount of airplay, so the boys are no strangers to radio airplay, this time they are back with their debut studio album Dogs At Bay, produced by none other than Mark Opitz (INXS, Cold Chisel); let’s see what’s in store.
The group admitted to Music Feeds that they originally weren’t sure about Cuffed & Collared being the lead single, but it’s not a bad track at all once you get used to it. Fans can definitely expect the earthiness and grit they became infatuated with from the band’s beginnings, elements that are present in tracks such as Bogan Pride, Hiding To Nothing and Dumb Ideas. There were some bittersweet moments on the record as well with Ghost Gums and Paradise, so it’s not all so gruff. You may have moments when listening to the album where you thought the energy could have been more intense or more effort could have been pumped into the vocal, particularly with tracks like Naden, but moments like this were only temporary in Hume and Sacred Ground.
Dogs At Bay was not a bad debut effort for Bad//Dreems, you can definitely hear why local radio went gaga over them when they first came to light. At times you find yourself giving your full attention to the album as the overall energetic vibe overcomes you, but it’s those few moments when the album’s sound falls a little flat that you may struggle to keep giving said attention. There are plenty of albums out there that make listeners feel the same way, so don’t be discouraged, if you’re a die hard fan of Bad//Dreems or the alternative rock genre, Dogs At Bay should still be a somewhat satisfying listen.