When you’ve had as much “downtime” as we have had for most of this year, you could opt to use that time wisely and productively, or you wallow and procrastinate. Chicago’s The Roof Dogs have chosen the former and used their time off the road as efficiently as possible, refining their sound and working towards being the best band that they can.
The proof is in their brand new double single release “Summer In Algeria” and “Devotion,” two songs that illustrate the progression of The Roof Dogs into a more polished, modern post-punk sounding outfit with a slight rootsy influence. Outside of touring, it’s actually been a fairly eventful period for the band, with the former Columbus, Ohio staple recently relocating to Chicago and also signing to Broom Closet Records for this new single release.
Offering some details behind the writing of “Summer In Algeria,” guitarist Andrew Marczak said, “‘Summer in Algeria’ started with me messing around on my classical guitar trying to play some bluesy ‘50s rock n roll rhythms that were swimming around in my head. When I brought it to the band, it definitely took more of a proto-punk direction while still keeping some of that syncopated rock n’ roll energy. The song is sort of a series of abstract images based around my consumption of media and my relationship to leisure growing up.
As a kid, I was always really bothered by the abrupt ending of sports broadcasts like the Stanley Cup Finals or Super Bowl. The game ended there was some impassioned commentary and some highlight reels and then the station switched to whatever late-night program was scheduled to follow which really bothered me for some reason. I was like ‘Wait, that’s it? What now? What was the whole point of all that?’ I still can’t quite place why I felt that way but I think this song was a roundabout way of exploring that absurdity.”
On “Devotion,” guitarist Jesse Cheshire added, “‘Devotion’ came out of a song I was working on for another band. I really liked the lyric but the music was uninteresting and sort of generic, so I completely rewrote it and by that time it didn’t sound at all like the other project but did sound like the Roof Dogs. It’s not about devotion at all and really is about a lack-there-of and the feelings of regret and guilt that can be associated with living noncommittally. The chorus is sort of sarcastic in that respect. It came together really quickly when I brought it to the band bass and drums, Sean and Walker added their signature mojo to the groove and that was that. It’s been a staple of our live set since we first performed it.”
Cheshire and Marczak formed The Roof Dogs back in 2016 when they were both living in the small college town of Granville, Ohio. At that time, it was merely a loose recording project based on the influence of singer-songwriters of the 1970s until bassist Sean Maher and drummer Walker Anderson joined the fold and the band became a more serious endeavour. Their sound became more diverse and raucous and the quartet became more committed to making The Roof Dogs into their day job with the recording of the experimental Are Too Cool EP, and the more straightforward This Week’s Winner, both released in 2018.
Now with a more cultivated, precise sound, the release of their new double single marks the boldest step forward for the band, one that will be a defining moment in not only their present but also their future together.