Reviews

Dog Unit
Barking To Gospel EP

(Sonic Deterioration)

8/10

Search ‘Dog Unit’, and the first thing you’ll find is a subreddit about the outcasts of the London police force, its stories circling Islington boroughs and solving crimes, making bemused civilians pick up litter dropped a century ago, all overseen by herds of blank-faced men using the faux-intimidation tactics of a playground pariah with a newfound, albeit watered-down, authority. They do have dogs, though. Search through the images and there’s their Ford Transit, strikingly adorned with warning lines – “DOG UNIT” – trundling its way up the M25, advertising the least welcoming puppy room on the commuter belt.

Should curiosity take you further, you’ll also stumble across a picture of Lucy Jamieson, Henry Scowcroft, Sam Walton and James Weaver, dressed head-to-toe in navy “Dog Unit” embroidered boiler suits, looking – if anything – a little more intimidating than the real thing. The Hackney-based instrumental rock four-piece’s debut EP is a particularly enticing introduction. Splayed across 25-minutes of meanderingly melodic, foot-tapping but reverb-drenched kosmische, Barking To Gospel is the Polyfilla in the cheap walls between the rooms of rising UK post-rock and electronica.

Lead single ‘Lab Coats’ is a propulsive drive-time Tangerine Dream, where synths and sequencers are traded for the four-four-two of band line-ups (and an omnichord). Mixed by Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) during his isolation in upstate New York and mastered at Geoff Barrow’s Invada Studios (Portishead, Beak>) in Bristol, the band’s transatlanticism goes beyond an impressive end credits. Tonally, the title track takes a Paul Banks guitar line and morphs it over Duophonic ambience; ‘An Argument’ is the blissful C86-defibrillator we wanted Film School to end their self-titled sophomore with; the EP’s closing track is a mash-up we’ll call bluesgaze, where a catchy and repetitive hook gets teasingly washed-out and in with all the structure of the tidal amplitudes. There’s much more to this Dog Unit than intimidation.

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