Since I first heard the debut tape by Columbus, Ohio’s All Dogs last month, I’ve had a hard time listening to anything else. The collection of tracks is just five originals plus one cover, on one side of a split with fellow Ohioans Slouch, but those few songs contain more perfect anxiousness and earnestness than some bands can get out in a whole album. I think perhaps my addiction to this tape is in part because the opening track, “Farm,” is an ideal soundtrack for early September. “Mid-autumn, the sun rise, opens up, your eyes,” sings Maryn Jones within the song’s first few seconds, at a tempered pace, backed by pop-punk guitars and drums. “But I’m takin’ my time,” she continues. “It’s all right, it’s fine.” There’s a simplicity to this sort of lyricism, but part of All Dogs’ appeal is how they can take a totally basic line like “It’s all right, it’s fine” and make it seem like the most melodramatic moment ever.
All Dogs are a fairly new band, but Jones, who also plays guitar, has previously released solo recordings under her own name. She also plays with Saintseneca, a band whose sound is more traditional-sounding and folk-inspired, but whose lyrics are similarly introspective. With her other band, Jones has toured within various DIY communities, playing living rooms and basements and bookstores and other makeshift spaces. It’s that sort of autonomous ethos that has likely led Jones to pen such self-reliant lines as, “Our feet can take us anywhere/ if we only steer them there” (also from the excellent “Farm”).
“I want you, and you want me, but I will fuck it up, just wait and see,” sings Jones on one of the other best songs here, “Love Song.” The tape is made by moments like that — sticky, sorta-emo one-liners that will stick with you for a while, plus punchy, pop-punk drumming that is pretty impossible to not bop your head along with. Those drums are played by Jesse Withers, also of the Columbus punk band Delay. Delay has previously released records with Salinas, who will release an All Dogs 7″ this fall. The label is also home to bands like Swearin’, Radiator Hospital, and P.S. Eliot – all bands that All Dogs played alongside earlier this summer at the Silent Barn in NYC for the Salinas Records 10-year anniversary show. Fans of those bands will likely be very much into the All Dogs tape, which you can stream below, along with a song the band just posted two days ago from the upcoming Salinas 7″.