“There was this feeling inside me going into making this record that we’d never made an album before,” says guitarist/vocalist Scott McMicken of Dr. Dog’s Shame, Shame, their Anti- debut and the first album made outside the safe confines of their home studio. “Four albums ago, we set out with this unspoken or unconscious mission, and I feel like we accomplished that to our own standards of fulfillment. With our last record [2008’s Fate], there didn’t seem to be the next logical step with the general set of sensibilities and aesthetics that we’d been working from up until that point. It felt like a closed book.”
As a band that has traditionally built their scrappily spirited albums layer by layer in the undisturbed seclusion of their Philadelphia studio, Dr. Dog realized they would need to leave these comforts and work in a professional studio with the help of an outside engineer and producer if they were to continue their album-by-album growth. Having evolved from a band whose primary creative outlet was the album-making process into one that increasingly favored the energy of their live performances, they knew they wanted to document the new dynamic they had developed on the road.