Baby Eagle, Dog Weather

If Neil Young were born a nerd, then Dog Weather would have most certainly been his crowning achievement. The loose, ragged feel that permeates the record is so reminiscent of ol’ grandpa Neil not just is sonic texture alone, but within the rural , no-nonsense attitude that seems to serve each song with all kinds of justice. It’s as if the overall attitude on Dog Weather is palpable: “Maybe things are good, maybe things are bad. But baby, we’ll be fine.”

The help that Baby Eagle, who is also known as Steve Lambke, guitarist of art-punks Constantines gets from his band is worth mentioning; with labelmate Daniel Romano of Attack in Black and Shotgun Jimmie amongst others, Lambke weaves gorgeous, touching stories of hope and heartache with a relaxed, countrified feel. Each track moves at its own pace, from the slow but redeeming crawl of “Dog Failure” to the affable shuffle of “Day of Our Departing,” both in which Lambke’s nasal-heavy voice breaks into your psyche with the very same grit Neil Young still shows.

Lambke isn’t trying to polish things up and try to be something he’s not on Dog Weather. This is music from his heart, with his soul singing back-up vocals. Both “Broken Bones” and “Crooked Coin” come in from the cold in shambles, but you can’t help but be happy to have them in. Those aforementioned tracks, like most of Dog Weather isn’t pitch perfect rock. But with its casual approach, Dog Weather makes everything polished sound that much less effective and authentic.

By Joshua Kloke

[Rating: 4/5]

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