In terms of content, Sundogs have no limit. Unity is held in their nods to nostalgic details and a symbiotic relationship between the piano and electric guitar — but from that foundation, what spills forth could be anything.
That being said, there are through-lines on their latest record, The Code, that bring out a passion for storytelling with the occasional dose of anthemic inspiration. The opening track, “I Want it Now”, might be short, but it sets up retro-guitar rock and layered vocals. “Mystery Car” splits away to tell a story of a car left abandoned in a parking lot and the narrator’s projected desires of running away. The track has comical flare and even a nod to the band’s own name in the lyrics.
In fact, ideas of escape and return permeate this record, which also tells a story of change over time on “Jennifer”, which — true to the restless nature of Sundogs — shifts into a jazzier, more minimal composition. As the record progresses, it shifts into a lower gear. “In the Night of the Light” has a late night feel to slide along its message of perseverance, while “Ride” brings Mexican culture, flavour, and history to a jazzier tune.
But at the end of the day, Sundogs are wielders of grandness. The title track showcases the guitar with an upbeat tone, while “Freedom” shows rougher edges and a guitar and keys combination that simmers. “Balloon” brings an unconventional narrative together with a buoyant melody, rounding out an album of twists and turns.