The Last Mixed Tape reviews the self-titled debut studio album from alternative outfit Pursued By Dogs.
An album built from gestures rather than moments, the debut outing from Pursued by Dogs is overwrought with drama, raw emotion and mood. Working as one whole piece, the record concerns itself with blending deep soundscapes, scattered beats and monochromatic music into a single large canvas.
This atmosphere of dark synth sounds is set from the opening seconds of Pursued by Dogs, the abient glitching textures and minimal piano of ‘Travelling Sound’ delve straight into the sparse but weighty production that dominates the album throughout. This is carried forward by the icy vocals of ‘Whiskey Ruin’, the sprawling ‘Iceland’ and the obscured distant sounding verses of ‘Talk’. This is where the gestures come in.
Sitting upon this bedrock of moody electronica are several deliberate peaks and troughs of dynamism. The cacophonous crescendo of ‘Gliding Silence’ uses this backdrop to great effect, giving Pursued by Dogs a feeling of sonic aspect, as the louder flourishes stand out further when cast against the far-off repose that the album sometimes falls into.
Pursued by Dogs is an album with a defined sound, one it sticks close to from beginning to end. This makes for an immersive listen that may leave some drifting in and out of it due to the dense overarching sprawl of the record. This problem is saved, for the most part, by the aforementioned gestures that maintain a sense of purpose as the band traverse further and further into the atmosphere they’ve built. A journey you’re either willing to go along with or not.
And so it goes, Pursued by Dogs have delivered an incredibly cohesive debut. First albums can often be a jumble of influences, diverting directions and fear, but with this self-titled offering Pursued by Dogs have clearly identified who they are as a band and, most importantly, what type of record they wanted to make. A strong first impression.
Pursued by Dogs is due out on April 27th.