"I feel like I'm in a totally new band right now," says guitarist/singer Scott McMicken. It's a bold declaration considering he's been co-fronting the beloved indie outfit for a decade-and-a-half, but it cuts straight to the heart of the intense and transformative experience behind the group's brilliant new album, Critical Equation. Produced by Gus Seyffert, it's the most infectious and adventurous collection Dr. Dog has laid to tape yet, born from a journey of doubt and discovery, a heavy, sometimes painful reckoning that ultimately brought the band closer together with more strength and clarity than ever before. Call it an existential awakening, call it a dark night of the soul, whatever it was, it fueled one of the most fertile creative periods in the group's history and forced them to confront that timeless question: what do we really want?
"We'd been touring and making records for our entire adult lives, and I think we just needed to take a step back," reflects bassist/singer Toby Leaman, who splits fronting and songwriting duties with McMicken. "It was important for all of us to figure out if we were actually doing what we wanted to be doing, or if we were just letting momentum carry us down this path we'd always been on. This band has been at work a long time and this record is about a concerted effort to push ourselves to grow with courage and confidence built upon our history together. That ends up being a renewed testimony of love for ourselves, each other, the work we do together, and the willingness to approach something you know so well with a beginners innocence"