Santa Dog
"The Chemical EP"

(RA RA RA Records 2005)Santa Dog - The Chemical EP

It is not easy to front a band. A position generally regarded as one of control and power, all eyes and ears generally fall to the lead vocalist. Rowena Dugdale of Santa Dog wields that power and control confidently but not with an iron fist. Santa Dog, from Bristol, England, is a soothingly soft rock band where Dugdale's gentle voice carries the pop melodies. The band's second EP, "The Chemical EP" is a smooth rock ride full of clean edges and bright sounds for a fresh feel that, with its upbeat quality, is not easy to shake off or forget after a listen.

Thumping bass mingles with the shimmering guitar melody as "Chemical" offers an anticipatory moment on the instantly likable track. Dugdale's British accent comes through offering an approachable and modest side to "Nest" as the instrumentation inflects like a gentle heart beat. Guitarist Rob Williams gets to step into the spotlight on "Flame" as he adds a lively and fluid solo to the quick moving song. Santa Dog infuses a little dance into their music with the more forward "Katy," as instrumentation pounds without becoming overbearing for a well balanced result.

"The Chemical EP" shows one strong side of Santa Dog and leaves listeners eager to hear what else this band can do. Smooth pop melodies may drive "The Chemical EP" but Santa Dog sound fresh and clean, avoiding melodic clichés while "Katy" hints at the band's more adventurous side. Santa Dog is definitely one to keep an eye out for.