At the beginning of this decade, Dr. Dog was a bunch of crafty eight-trackists in its hometown of Philadelphia. But in the past few years – thanks to some high-profile gigs at places such as Lollapalooza — the band has shown remarkable growth. Although 2008's Fate draws heavily from the lo-fi spirit of the '60s and the Beatles, the arrangements, production tricks and soulful performances are far above anything Dr. Dog has done before. "My Friend" is a journey in and of itself: It morphs between a funky backbeat and swaying psych-rock dreamscape before fading into a heartfelt mini-song — an outro that literally comes and goes with the hypnotic intensity of a rattling freight train. "Hang On," in contrast, channels the knee-quivering, backwoods-white-boy soul of the Band.
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