Posts Tagged ‘Dogleg’

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Nothing about Dogleg’s exhilarating debut “Melee” makes any goddamn sense. It’s just four guys from Michigan hammering the same post-hardcore or emo riffs we’ve all heard for 20 years. The album, named after the Super Smash Bros. game and peppered with further Nintendo nods, was self-produced and modestly recorded at the house of frontman Alex Stoitsiadis, who started Dogleg as a solo project in his parents’ basement. Yet somehow, these dignitaries of the University of Michigan frat party scene have carved a stone-cold classic — a stupefying encapsulation of all its predecessors’ aggression without an ounce of melodic sacrifice. From the opening chug of “Kawasaki Backflip,” Melee is a 35-minute waterslide plunge into chaos; all speed freak guitars, incendiary drums, and Stoitsiadis’s best Stink-era Paul Westerberg impression. It’s proof that bombast should be a little bit ugly. The subsequent tour would’ve made Dogleg one of 2020’s most thrilling new live rock acts.

The vicious, ascendant guitar breaks in “Fox,” which deserve some serious Riff of the Year consideration in a surprisingly competitive time. Dogleg “Fox” from the full length album Melee.



One of the greatest casualties of no-tour 2020 is that Dogleg was just in the process of launching their career as a chaotic live act outside of their native Michigan, their debut album Melee serving as their treatise for world domination in the same way PUP snatched up an enormous following seven years ago by relentlessly introducing their self-titled LP to audiences on an almost-nightly basis for years to come. Fortunately for Dogleg, Melee has plenty of traction regardless of their abandoned tour alongside Microwave—and much like PUP, the record nearly provides the live experience despite listeners’ pandemic-inflicted confinement to their homes.

With “Fox” as an intro—and “Kawasaki Backflip” as confirmation that Dogleg would, in fact, be very much a thing—it was such a joy watching the Detroit punks unveil their record over the course of a few turbulent months. They rapidly became every music publication’s Artist to Watch, legitimizing them as a fully-fledged AOTY contender by mid-year—and, more importantly, legitimizing the anxieties pumped into each of Melee’s ten tracks as near-universal pressure points brought to the surface in the weeks that followed the record’s release.

Dogleg’s Melee is a bristling, relentlessly cathartic collection of pop-punk. From the moment that the opening track, “Kawasaki Backflip,” bursts into its full-band glory, the album never slows down or backs off from the Detroit group’s loud, crunchy, anthemic style. Lead singer Alex Stoitsiadis shouts every word with dire conviction, his voice shredding and straining to deliver some of the best shout-along hooks of the year so far. “Any moment now, I will disintegrate,” he frantically yells at the explosive climax of “Fox.” Melee is the sound of a band pushing off self-destruction through sheer force of will. This isn’t to say that these songs aren’t complex, or that their loudness is a cover for a lack of imagination. The guitars on “Cannonball” splash loudly, creating violent ripples over the rest of the track, while “Ender” closes the album in a six-minute punk odyssey wherein Dogleg ups the stakes at every turn. Melee is exhausting in the best possible way, a cleansing release of tension in a howling, desperate rage.
Dogleg “Fox” from the full length Melee
Band Members
Alex Stoitsiadis – guitar, vocals
Chase Macinski – bass, vocals
Parker Grissom – guitar
Jacob Hanlon – drums

“Melee” is an album that doesn’t strive to fend off anxiety. No, Dogleg are one step ahead of it. Instead of exhausting themselves of doing their best to downplay its exhaustion, the Michigan punk band let all its ugly emotions into their system, do its worst, then sweat it out, and for it, their music is a catharsis for anyone who has walked through a dark day.

It doesn’t hurt that Dogleg are fully capable of burdening themselves with the worry and distress. A bro might recommend working hard and playing harder, but only guitarist and lead vocalist Alex Stoitsiadi, bassist Chase Macinski, rhythm guitarist Parker Grissom, and drummer Jacob Hanlon properly put that into action in their punk-post-hardcore-emo-crossing sound that has been tingling goosebumps among their live revelers these last few years throughout midwest VFW halls and DIY punk fests.

The early spirits of Title Fight, PUP and Joyce Manor’s bottled up emotions come to mind throughout Melee, but so does the Get Up Kids’ “Ann Arbor” bleed right through Dogleg’s hearts in this instance, as the 10 songs that pack in a gut-punch throughout “Melee” come barreling in with reckless choruses big enough to go toe to toe with any depressive episode.

They’re channeled through the elements of polar intensities with “Kawasaki Backflip”, riffs going off the rails as a drunken house party goes on without on “Bueno”, spiraling out in “Headfirst” and “Hotlines” in nihilistic, self-pitying whoas with clocks moving in hyperspeed, or breaking bones and connections on “Wrist.”


Never once do Dogleg let eve a millisecond pass them by on Melee where they aren’t rapidly cycling the air around them either. While the words may paint a bleaker picture, the rising Michigan four-piece are fully plugged into the game of life and all its stages, slugging it out whole-heartedly. If it all bodies them, at least they went down punching every button hard.. and fast.

Dogleg’s Melee will be released March 13th on Triple Crown Records.

Dogleg Melee

Michigan emo-punks Dogleg stirred up a lot of buzz last year with their first single “Fox” and its video, which gives you an idea of how wild this band’s live shows can get. Now, they’ve officially announced their debut album, “Melee”, due March 13th via Triple Crown Records.  Along with the announcement comes second single “Kawasaki Backflip” and a video that finds the band rocking out in their garage and smashing a bunch of household items (and, eventually, their instruments). If you’re new to Dogleg but a fan of PUP, Title Fight, Joyce Manor, etc

Dogleg’s latest single “Kawasaki Backflip” immediately propels the listener through two options of how anxiety and depression will be dealt with––by burning it all down with fire, or letting yourself be blown away completely by the wind. The accompanying video shows the band at its most violent, destroying everything in its path in an effort to make sense of the internal turmoil of these important feelings.

Dogleg “Kawasaki Backflip” from the album Melee out March 13th!


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Fox,” the first single from their debut album, Dogleg devastate listeners with a heart wrenching take on losing touch, with a song that’s thrives on leaving blood on the page. The band, who are expected to release their debut album next Spring, they take a power pop approach and then distort the hell out of it. While the feelings of loss and confusion could resonate with anyone, few artists could deliver a song on the subject with as much energy as Dogleg.

Along with the high energy video, “Fox” rips with an epic level of engagement that most modern pop-punk lacks. The song puts an emphasis on intensity, but it also has the dynamics of an early Taking Back Sunday song or a Nimrodera Green Day track. While so much of the enjoyment comes from the screamed gang vocals and fast, punchy riffs, the song is set in the soft bass breakdowns, where you’re reminded that you’re listening to a song with more emotional resonance than just your standard emo track. While this is clear to anyone who heard Dogleg’s Remember Alderaan EP, “Fox” takes the interesting parts of that release and smoothes out the creases.

A fantastic explosion of noise. fast, cathartic, melodic. if you want to cry/dance in your room alone on a saturday night while your friends are out having a good time this is the record for you.

Band Members
Alex Stoitsiadis – guitar, vocals
Chase Macinski – bass, vocals
Parker Grissom – guitar
Jacob Hanlon – drums