Single Review: Suburban Dogs - "Omen"

Suburban Dogs - Omen
(Self-Released 2013)
"Somewhere between detached cool and restrained intensity"

Anonymity is one of the things that irks me about the internet. Many of the bands I have enjoyed over the past couple of years are made up of people that I know virtually nothing about. Such is the case with Suburban Dogs. All I could gather about the project is that it's a one-man act from Dunedin, New Zealand. I wish I could find out who's the brains behind this debut single, because they deserve a virtual high-five. 

The first track on the free download is "Sometimes", in which simple chords are passionately banged out of an acoustic guitar, slowly being sucked into a swirling black hole of snapping, crackling and popping tape hiss. Although it doesn't sound a thing like My Bloody Valentine or Slowdive, one could categorize "Sometime" as a shoegaze track. Although I don't hear any effects (except reverb, possibly) being used here, there is an undeniable wall of sound that clogs one's headphones. The vocals are what make this track special, lying somewhere between Lou Reed's detached cool and Billy Corgan's restrained intensity. "Omen" is the second song and title track of the single. It's no less compelling and intimate than "Sometime"; in fact, it's possibly even more piercing. The chords here are messily strummed, the lyrics hard to pick out. I think they're less centered around telling a story than creating an aura. Scattered images of "standing soaked by the doorway" and "cop cars" slip through your eardrums. "Omen" somehow manages to produce a lump in my throat with its somber atmosphere rather than the whiny lyrics many bands stoop to these days. Very impressive. Listen to this single below and download here.