Sensory Overload: All Dogs deliver on the growing hype

By Columbus Alive
From the October 3, 2013 edition

Though All Dogs is relatively new to the Columbus music scene, the trio has already generated more buzz than a bathtub full of Kentucky moonshine.

In addition to write-ups from tastemaking websites like Pitchfork and Stereogum, which named the crew a “Band to Watch” based on the strength of its debut cassette, the trio caught the ear of none other than Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield, who mentioned the group unprovoked in a recent phone interview, saying “I just love them.” She offered further praise following All Dogs’ turn opening for Waxahatchee/Screaming Females at Ace of Cups on a recent Thursday, taking to her Twitter account to say: “all dogs made me cry.”

Based solely on the strength of the group’s cathartic 25-minute set, the hype, as they say, is justified.

Singer/guitarist Maryn Jones, who also plays in the Anti-signed Saintseneca, anchored the trio’s sound with her sweet-voiced singing and her comparatively gnarly six-string work. She repeatedly unfurled slashing riffs that came on like oddly melodic temper tantrums, wrestling with her instrument like a fisherman trying to free a snagged line.

The songs, in general, were filled with yearning, confusion and emotional abandonment — Jones toyed with some variety of “Don’t you want me?”/“I want you” on a handful of tunes — and this sense of emotional upheaval carried over into the gloriously ragged arrangements. Tunes were generally short and punchy, and the performance had an undeniable sense of momentum. Even so, the trio knew to pull back on occasion, as it did on the intro to “Farm.”

“The sunrise opens up your eyes,” cooed Jones, laying down a slow, cranky riff that sounded as though her guitar has just roused itself from bed. By the song’s end, however, the frontwoman and her bandmates — drummer Jesse Withers and bassist Amanda Bartley — were fully alert and locked in, bashing out a ferocious torrent of pop-punk noise.

Throughout the evening Jones and Co. appeared caught off guard by the crowd’s visceral response to their music (“We’re humbled and very stoked,” she offered at one point). With songs as good as these, they’d best get used to being on the receiving end of such attention.