Dogs in Ecstasy - Dreams and Gripes (album)

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Nothing is more noteworthy in the underground local music scene than the release of a new Dogs in Ecstasy record. If you are a local music fan and don't know about the group, hearing their music for the first time seems to bring about a sense of zeitgeist. The three-piece rock band bridges the gap between rock music and the modern world. Coupling this with the band's unique smattering of pure melodic lead guitar, and a synchronized rhythm section, Dogs in Ecstasy achieve what all rock bands should be seeking out to do - evoking humanism and emotion while integrating both into their songs.

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A Dogs set is high energy but also effortless, with Willy Dintenfass shredding on the guitar, while Molly Rosenblum and Tony Dixon emphasize momentum and precision.  While live appearances have been a rarity as of late, when the band does play out - they pack their venues with an audience that has been looking for their fix. The only thing I could really compare this Milwaukee phenomenon to would be a Juiceboxxx show (If you still don't know what I'm talking about, I guess I'm sorry and you should really get it together and make sure you catch their next performance). Coincidentally, Willy Dintenfass and Juiceboxxx are close friends and colleagues, with Dintenfass touring in Juiceboxxx's band often. Addtionally, the band is also on Juiceboxxx's label, Thunder Zone Entertainment.

It's not surprising that both Dogs in Ecstasy and Juiceboxxx have a similar appeal. They both possess a gift in articulating our generation's overall attitude about the world. There is often times a deep sense of apathy amongst us, but to call it such would be not only inaccurate, but also reductive; the emotion is more existential than simple apathy. Honestly, it's difficult to explain, and I'm probably not the best at describing it. The best I can do is say that Dogs In Ecstasy achieve a similar effect that memes do, in that they make us feel something universally relatable. They embody a certain experience and understanding that's very specific to American DIY culture.

Their newest release, "Dreams and Gripes" is a step in a slightly different direction than the group's previous full-length "Welcome 2 Hell". The basis of the Dogs In Ectasy sound still remains, with driving instrumentals that seriously rock. Dintenfass' lead guitar shreds and melodically shines. Throughout this perfect chaos, the layered drums and synthesizers accentuate the melodic cacophony. The result is an incredibly strong sound, highlighted with poignant lyrics about common millennial-minded themes like social anxiety, irony, and internet culture.

What differs from past releases, though, is that "Dreams and Gripes" tends to focus on emotion a bit more. While "Welcome 2 Hell" is presented as more of a mixtape, "Dreams and Gripes" feels more like a fully realized album. In terms of production, the album feels brighter and slightly more slick. For fans of the group, it feels like an exhale and a quintessential response from their previous works. Accompanying the album this time around is a reader, which contains writing from Dintenfass as well as lyrics to the new songs.

If you're feeling stupid for not having seen the group live yet, you're in luck-the band will be celebrating the release of "Dreams and Gripes" tonight at the Cactus Club in Bay View. Also appearing are Palberta, Peeper & LePlay and Graham Hunt, performing new material under the name The Graham Hunt Lottery Trust.

The album is set to drop Friday, May 11th, and we'll add the stream once it's live.  Take comfort in knowing that someone understands, and they've done a great job translating it into really listenable and emphatic rock music. See you in the pit.