Exceptional. Weird. Accessible.
15 years ago in Philadelphia, Scott McMicken and Toby Leaman started writing The Psychedelic Swamp which was the music that would lead to the creation of Dr. Dog. The sessions were put onto cassettes for fans in the year 2001, but was ressurrected last year when Dr. Dog decided to re-record the songs and collaborate with a theater troupe to bring the character of Phrases, a swamp inhabitant, to life. Think of it as Dr. Dog’s Rock Opera.
Dr. Dog isn’t trying to leave you completely confused by their idealistic musical creation. On the contrary, they just want you to come to The Psychedelic Swamp and enjoy yourself.
I would suggest listening to the album in its entirety to let the concept wash over you, but highlights for me include the subtle harmonies of McMicken and Leaman on “Dead Record Player” and the surf guitars of McMicken’s “Swampadelic Pop.” You should listen to “Bring My Baby Back” where Leaman has crafted a solid song that could easily have been included on any of Dr. Dog’s albums and “Engineer Says” in which Leaman pulls you into a bluesy world that develops into organized chaos.