Dog Day


BY Ian GormelyPublished Aug 2, 2011

If Seth Smith and Nancy Ulrich were looking to drive a wedge between their fans, Deformer should do the trick. The Haligonians ditched the other half of their band and split town, decamping to the Nova Scotia countryside. Taking their recording aesthetic as back to basics as their new lifestyle, not only did Smith and Ulrich elect to self-record the album, they even started their own record label, Fundog Records, to release the disc, with silk-screened covers and photocopied lyric books. Of course, this is all window dressing, but it underscores the transformation the band have gone through since their last full-length, 2009's Concentration. Above all, these dozen songs lack the immediacy that drove their best work. In fact, Deformer sounds like a downer upon first listen, wallowing in the slacker-driven sounds of early '90s indie rockers like Sebadoh, Eric's Trip and Pavement. That's not to say the record's a washout, far from it. Smith's songwriting remains whip-smart; it's just lost much of the concision that drove the band in the past. Sure to divide supporters, Deformer is a bold move; it remains to be seen what will come from it.

Latest Coverage