steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Flock of Doug

"Wish I Were Here" CD

Überfishie Records

Genres: rock, melodic rock

Mar 14 - 20 2005

The cleverly-named Wish I Were Here album is Flock of Doug's first, and it offers a solid glimpse into the band's melodic rock sound.  These songs are filled with clever, pop-culture-heavy lyrics and average hooks; it will take a few listens for the melodies to addict you, though with patience you should be able to appreciate the band's style.

The most effective songs here (in terms of melody) are "Brian's Other Song," "Osama Bin Enron," and "Hymn 43."  Each one has the capacity to stick in your head, as all guitar-led pop songs are meant to do.  Sometimes on this record I get the feeling the choruses don't go as far as they should, stopping short of being truly wonderful (on "Hymn 43" and "Boyfriend You're My American Flag Underwear," for example).  However, Flock of Doug's penchant for strong musical atmosphere is what keeps a listener going through the less infectious tracks, and the clever lyrics provide another level of entertainment.  Still, duds like "The Ballad of El Vez" and "Space Poodle 69" affect the record's flow, and will likely result in the listener reaching for the skip button more than a few times.  Still, a nice surprise waits for listeners willing to stay for the end; the band includes a version of ABBA's "Dancing Queen," making for a funny finish to this record - though most of the song's appeal comes from its riotously hilarious awkwardness.

This album isn't perfect, but it's a nice look at the Flock of Doug sound.  On future albums, these guys are going to have to pare down some of their less melodic songs and refine their melodic style, but their lyrics and occasionally excellent hooks prove they have the chops to do something great.  I'll be watching.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by CD Baby, released 2004]