Brooklyn-based progressive rock band Nerd Salad has released a new single, “Dogmeat.” The song is the lead single in promotion of their debut album Press Start coming June 3, is the group’s first new music since their 2018 release Your Father and I Aren’t Angry, We’re Just Disappointed.
“Dogmeat” follows a highly transformative structure over its seven-and-a-half minute runtime, going from basic verse-chorus format to instrumental breakdown before returning to its original melody in the song’s conclusion.
The song’s dreamy opening riff gives off a nice warmth that contrasts the apocalyptic subject matter on the verses. “Our future is grim and bleak, all alone to find what you seek,” they sing in the track’s opening lines over a funky blues guitar rhythm. The song’s verses paint a detailed Mad Max-like picture of a world past salvage. “Found you in this desolate wasteland, digging through trash and scraps of old tin cans,” they sing in the second verse’s opening lines.
The melodic chorus gives release to this tension, where all instruments crash together on top of the song’s defining words, “the ceiling’s now the ground, we’re all just dogmeat now.”
The instrumental bridge after the third verse fully plays into the chaos described here, with a long disjointed guitar solo being paced by hyper-frenetic drumming. This part of the song keeps up with the track’s understanding of tension and release, as this section closes out with a heavy blues jam. We then hear the chorus one more time, reinforcing the song’s musical identity before the song’s outro.
All members of Nerd Salad are very talented musicians, and while the song displays this clearly, no part of “Dogmeat” leans into self indulgence. This is even true during the “Paranoid Android” reminiscent freakout which closes the song, as every part of the track properly serves its purpose of detailing a world in havoc.
“Dogmeat” is a creative and chaotic piece of progressive rock, and is a good sign of what’s to come from Nerd Salad next month.