Dogbreth Wants To Play Some Power-Kindness For You
Dogbreth plays fun pop-punk music--or desert power-punk, some may say; that is, unless you ask Tristan Jemsek, or Erin Caldwell, who consider Dogbreth to be power-kindness, or sentimental power-pop. Jemsek says he never intended for Dogbreth to be a pop-punk band, not back when it was just a solo project, nor when it became a full-fledged band, but he can understand why people would label their sound that way.
Dogbreth will be your new friends. (Photo: Steph Carrico)
Jemsek, who sings, "I guess I'm just a self-sabotageour," on "Too Much Too Fast," does a good job of fooling the listener into the appearance that Dogbreth is anxious and self-conscious. Either way, they do put that power-kindness label into practice: at their show with Swearin' at Trunk Space, Dogbreth brought the dispersed crowd together by asking the audience to come close, but not too close, in case that made them uncomfortable.
That solicitousness is in the music, as well; the themes it covers are fun and simple until you get to the heart of the record, where you hit those sentimental undertones in songs such as "Too Much Too Fast," or even in arguably the happiest song on the record, "New Friend," which sounds reminiscent of the Plan-it-X bands with whom they are now share a label.
Being signed by the DIY punk label Plan-It-X and the legend behind the label, Chris Clavin, is like a dream come true for the band, who list many of the bands on the label as big influences--Defiance, Ohio, Ghost Mice, Mitch the Champ, and, of course, hometown heroes Andrew Jackson Jihad.
For Dogbreth, everything starts with the lyrics. A song might start with a riff or a tune, but it's more likely to be something that Caldwell wrote, or something Jemsek wrote. The challenge for them is being able to write fast enough, when the inspiration hits--but, as Jemsek says, its always a mystery how a song comes together.