Finer Feelings #8: Dogs Die In Hot Cars – Please Describe Yourself (2004)

When picking out albums to place on my list of favorites of this decade, my main criteria was how much I listened to the album since it came out.  If I had iTunes when I first got Please Describe Yourself, you can be certain that it would rank as one of my most played albums.  When Dogs Die In Hot Cars debuted in 2004, I wasn’t really into that much new music.  Later that same year I would be turned on to the likes of The Dresden Dolls, Franz Ferdinand and Rilo Kiley, but it was this album that gave me hope that not all new music would suck.  Drawing heavily from the energetic pop of late-‘80s XTC, Dogs Die In Hot Cars’ full-length debut hardly left my DiscMan (or whatever primitive mp3 player I had at the time).  I remember sitting down with a borrowed radio in high school to listen to their Free At Noon concert on WXPN, then seeing them in concert that evening.  They were the coolest thing I’d heard in years, and then they were gone.  Until the recent release of Pop Nonsense, a collection of remastered demos that doesn’t sound focused enough to be considered a proper album, Please Describe Yourself was the only record by the Scottish quintet.  Songs range from the jittery ska of “Lounger” and signature tune “I Love You ‘Cause I Have To” to more slow-burning numbers like “Somewhat Off The Way” and “Glimpses Of The Good Life.”  Lead singer Craig Macintosh’s brogue is a defining characteristic of the band’s sound, as his swallowing of syllables (particularly in “Apples And Oranges” and “Who Shot The Baby”) gives a charming raggedness to the songs.  Yelps and howls on “Modern Woman” and “Pastimes And Lifestyles” foreshadow some of later Britpop’s darker tendencies.  A year or so later, Dogs Die In Hot Cars would ostensibly be no more, but they had paved the way for bands like the Arctic Monkeys and The Fratellis by showing that pop music could be catchy, fun, silly and masterful all at once.

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~ by E. on November 25, 2009.

2 Responses to “Finer Feelings #8: Dogs Die In Hot Cars – Please Describe Yourself (2004)”

  1. … and a cool name, to boot!

  2. That’s awesome band, i’ve heard “I Love You Cause I Have To” and i love this song haha. Great!

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