Friday, August 21, 2020

that dog. - Retreat From The Sun LP


Third Man (2020, Reissue)

Last week I wrote about that dog.'s (seriously, how do you type the possessive of a band name that's written like this...) 1995 album Totally Crushed Out.  I mentioned how I bought it quite soon after its release and how I was a huge fan of it for twenty five years.  Today, I'm writing about Retreat From The Sun, the next album in the that dog. catalog and the one I blew it on.

When Retreat From The Sun came out in 1997, I didn't like it.  At all.  I'm pretty sure I bought it (though it's also distinctly possible I got it as a promo from my college newspaper) and listened to it a few times, filed it in my CD collection and at some point sold it during a purge.  When that dog. played Riot Fest a few years ago and announced they were playing this album in its entirety, I thought that was such a waste.  I was a total dipshit.

When Third Man announced they were rereleasing these two that dog. records, I texted my buddy Scott as I was really psyched about Totally Crushed Out.  I wasn't even planning on buying Retreat From The Sun, but the way he talked about it made me think I needed to give it a second chance.  I held off on buying Totally Crushed Out and decided to listen to Retreat From The Sun a few times to see if I missed something the first time around.

Well, I sure did.  I'm positive I'll always think Totally Crushed Out is better, especially having twenty five years of history with it, but Retreat From The Sun is really every bit as strong.  I have no earthly idea why I didn't like this in 1997.  I can only assume I was too wrapped up in whatever punk rock hits were being released at that time and this probably sounded too polished for my oh-so-cool ears.  Well, I can say conclusively that I was so wrong about this album and I wish that I could have been listening to it in the years since it came out.

All of the songs are great, but to me the best of the bunch is "Minneapolis."  It is as good as the very best that dog. songs from any album of theirs.  I'm grateful that Third Man decided to rerelease these records.  Totally Crushed Out is a one I've always wanted on vinyl, but had these reissues not come out I still probably would be missing out on the greatness that is Retreat From The Sun.

that dog. - Retreat From The Sun (YouTube Music album playlist):

1 comment:

  1. The genesis of the record makes it its biggest problem, it was meant to be an Anna Waronker solo record but the group, that was highly dysfunctional by that point, got dragged back into propping Anna up for whatever reason. And that is sort of it's saving grace as well because the utterly gorgeous harmonies between Anna and the Haden sisters are what elevate the songs past what could have been quite a forgettable experience. Then again, I never heard Anna's songs for Josie and the Pussycats, they may be incredible :D
    Totally Crushed Out was not available in the UK for such a long time I gave up trying to find it, mst find a reissue!