The Golden Dogs | Everything In 3 Parts (Funzalo)

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Like the sonic cognate of high-luminosity lamps for sufferers from seasonal affective disorder, a dose of power-pop can remedy the lethargy of midwinter—and in that respect, the Golden Dogs’ Everything in 3 Parts ranks as just what the doctor ordered.

Leading the Toronto band are Dave Azzolini on lead vocals and guitar, and his wife, Jessica Grassia, on keyboards, percussion, and vocals. With packmates Taylor Knox (bass), Carlin Nicholson (guitar), and Beau Stocker (drums), they make music sufficiently effervescent that the present administration, which seems intent on leeching all joy from life, will likely deny them entry to the United States for a planned tour this year.

Regarding that music, the dozen tracks on this Funzalo Records disc (all Azzolini compositions) crackle with energy, here showcasing bubbly keyboards, there chiming guitars, elsewhere vocoder whimsies, making Everything in 3 Parts an irresistible exercise in manic magic. Crazed counterpoints abound, as on “Can’t Get Your Face Out of My Head,” which swerves and swoops like a rock ’n’ roller coaster, or “The Elevator Man,” which opens like vintage Warwick/Bacharach/David before going apeshit. In that wise, the pièce de résistance closes the disc: “Big Boy” conjures trippy visions of an oompah band assembled by Don Van Vliet, conducted by Tom Waits, and—what the hell—publicized by Ray Bradbury. (“I’ve been reading all kinds of poetry/I’ve been learning all kinds of rhymes,” sings Azzolini early in that number before adding, “I’ve been jumping off of bolts of lightning/Electrocuted on the highest wires.”) Leavening such spaz delights are odes to loves lost and found like “I Don’t Sleep” and the sweet “Anniversary Waltz.” Still, those tempted to suspect the Golden Dogs collectively have a sense of humor the size of Canada likely suspect correctly. So it goes with Everything in 3 Parts. Goofy? Yes. Greathearted? Likewise. Recommended? Quite.

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