Sounds like: The Black Lips and Real Estate on a Miller High Life-fueled rafting trip.
For fans of: Garage pop, GoPro adventure-sports soundtracks, montages of pretty people doing quirky things.
The key to churning out good pop music is to write a lot of it. So when Portland's Dogheart entered the studio last year, the band had 40 songs to choose from. The list of what ended up on the record was determined through beer-soaked house parties in Yakima and the band's first official shows at smaller venues like Old Town's Valentines.
"When we have a lot [of songs] to choose from," says bassist Gray Hildreth, "we try to play them out a bit and feel which ones are the best live."
Within a year, Dogheart had risen to playing its brand of energetic indie rock at bigger rooms such as Holocene and Mississippi Studios and opening for touring acts such as San Francisco's Cool Ghouls. The trio's new album, What Burns the Best, is an all-killer, no-filler effort, lending itself to repeated listens—an uncommon achievement for such a new band.
Dogheart came together in February 2014, after vocalist Matt Jenkins, formerly of the group Pheasant, had grown tired of "putting up with a bunch of shit from other bands." The trio became familiar with each other as members of the Portland rock scene. "We all knew each other from different projects," Hildreth says. "It just happened that at the time we were all free agents and wanted to start something from the ground up."
The reception to What Burns the Best has been positive, but the band ranks songwriting as its No. 1 priority, putting off dreams of fame in favor of touring behind good, catchy music. Dogheart is still a young band, and that's fine with the members.
"We're trying to figure out our touring situation right now," Hildreth says. "We want to get into Seattle, and then, as time permits, make our way down the West Coast. But we want to sprout from the Northwest, starting small.
âI know our parents are kind of our biggest fans right now.â
SEE IT: Dogheart plays Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave., with the Hugs, on Saturday, March 14. 9:30 pm. $5. 21+.