Dogleg Releases Stand-Out Debut Record, “Melee”

Dogleg – Melee / Triple Crown Records 2020

Reviewed by: Paul Quinn

The Michigan emo/punk scene has been making splashes in the scene in the past year with bands such as Greet Death, Hot Mulligan, Mover Shaker, and Charmer. Dogleg, for me, has been the one that has stood out from the rest, and they recently released their Pitchfork-acclaimed “Best New Music” record: Melee.

Melee, a record that gives tribute to the Super Smash Bros. game, has the feeling of thinking you’re really good at the game but after you’ve been talking trash to all your friends, you realize you’re not as good as you think. With that, you probably want to smash things in real life. The record is full of pent-up aggression that is let out in an exhilarating record that deserves a listen from front-to-back. 

Melee builds off of what Dogleg has building since their self-titled release and Remember Alderaan? EP in 2016, however adding cleaner production and label support from Triple Crown Records. Nonetheless, this time they don’t have little sound clips from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, as the record was constructed to have a seamless transition from track to track. 

Featuring emotional tracks such as “Fox”, of which the frontman Alex Stoitsiadis wrote in a tweet thread that the song is “a tribute to my mom. People who cheat on others fucking suck…She’s the one that got cheated on…I love her so much”. The music video for “fox” features the four-piece band ripping through the track in a live setting, showing the intensity the band performs live and the active crowd that is 100% there for it. 

“Kawasaki Backflip” is another stand out track on the record and kicks off Melee. The corresponding video highlights the pent-up aggression escaping in a suburban garage, as the band smashes items to bits and pieces, screaming the question “Will you be the fire or the wind?”

The album closes with an appropriately titled track “Ender.” Do yourself a favor and listen to their record in-full, as Melee is built to be one of the strongest punk records of 2020. 

Catch Dogleg this summer at Pitchfork Music Festival on Sunday.

Recommended if You Like: Oso Oso, Joyce Manor, Japandroids

Recommended tracks: 1, 2, 4, 10

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