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"No Dividing Line"

Source: NeuFuture Magazing
By: James McQuiston, PhD

The Wear introduces listeners to the Straw Dogs’ latest effort, No Dividing Line. This soft, alternative take on rock is led by an emotive and alluring set of vocals. The lush arrangements laid down by the drums and guitars make for a track that will stick with listeners long after it ends. High Horses speeds things up, inserting a Tom Petty meets Soul Asylum feel into the mix.

No Dividing Line is an album that stays strong, with the mid-point showcasing a band that is continually changing and clarifying their style. Already Told Me is a tremendously impacting song, as the vocals soar on a set of instrumentation that is continually shifting and changing. Borrowed Troubles slows things up considerably, allowing listeners to hear a different side to the Straw Dogs. Hints of sixties rock and psychedelia can be heard even as the guitars throw down some country-esque riffs. Hey My Love keeps things tender with a soulful instrumentation and vocals that seem at place on a Counting Crows or Da Vinci’s Notebook track. The track is pushed to an entirely higher plateau with the inclusion of a horn; the Straw Dogs break free of any genre constraint in their creation of No Dividing Line. Goodnight completes the Straw Dogs’ latest, and it has a more diffuse and fuzzy feel than other tracks on this album.

No Dividing Line can be purchased at the Straw Dogs’ website ( or their CDBaby ( For those that are looking for a distinctive yet familiar band, the Straw Dogs create tremendously effecting music with each subsequent effort on No Dividing Line.

Top Tracks: Already Told Me, Lay Me Down

Rating: 8.8/10

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By: J. Rivera

With this latest release, No Dividing Line, Straw Dogs serve up a highly listenable blend of acoustic rock garnished with equal parts pop and folk touches. Having kicked around since the late 1990′s the band has managed to have their music appear in several films and commercials and still retain their indie credibility.

Much of the material here hangs out in second gear, unhurried and indolent. “Borrowed Troubles,” “This Good,” and “Together Now” tell their stories in measured turns.

“Cradle in Me” is one of those near perfect songs that can stand alone and be played a half dozen times in a row, guilt free. There’s a soulful ambition on display from David Von Beck’s vocal delivery.

“New Sunrise” is about as hopeful and upbeat as a song can get. Trying to get past the headaches and back to why one person cares about another.

“Star” manages to be bouyant and sort of downbeat at the same time, no easy feat. Feels like a minor key lament for optimism. The resonance of the dobro is mournful and feels like heartbreak. Still a good tune, but time to switch back from decaf and pick up the pace a little.

There are beautiful harmonies and great production throughout. This is what Sunday evening sounds like. When you’ve shook off the detritus of the weekend and steeled yourself for what’s to come, this is what hope sounds like. As David von Beck says on “The Wear,” “Things will be better, not worse/For the wear.”

Amen, brother. Amen.

Source: Skope Magazine
By: Christopher West

With a heavy emphasis on songwriting, the Straw Dogs have released their new full-length, No Dividing Line—14-tracks of Americana melodies, vast instrumentation and anecdotal, deep lyrical matter. Four years removed from their last outing, Dave von Beck took a different approach to the songwriting format by initially starting with stripped acoustic versions of the songs and working them into rough recordings. Then, employing a host of Seattle’s best musicians and allowing them to add individual facets transforming the songs into a polished finish.

The ethos of the tracks runs the musical gauntlet from the demure leanings of “Already Told Me” to the urgency of “High Horses.” The acoustic foundation shines in the strum and pick work of the prior with its mid tempo feel, intermittent electric fills and straightforward delivery. Meanwhile “Horses” explodes out of the gate with guitar interplay: acoustic at the helm of melody while the electric dances just underneath with technically intricate note work. “Borrowed Troubles” ushers forth the Alt Country leanings with more acoustic lead, occasional bent Blues notes from the electric and slight backing percussion. If Death Cab collaborated with Ryan Adams, it would sound remarkably like this one. Pushing the instrumentation boundaries is “Star” replete with banjo plucks that cast the track as a Country fried version of a Simon and Garfunkle song. Brass makes an appearance on “Lay Me Down” with opening notes at the intro and an appearance mid-track in the solo in what is a demure love song. “The Wear” opens to picked acoustic and builds through to full instrumentation with slightly Country-tinged electric notes and the strong lead vocal delivery bolstered by backing vox.

Strong songwriting and emotive matter are the hallmarks of No Dividing Line, while the vast instrumentation brings the songs through to fruition. However far removed from their prior outing this may be, the Straw Dogs seemed to have found their method for crafting an album and if applied to their future outings, they can expect to continue creating strong albums of this ilk.

By: Brian Lush

After four long years STRAW DOGS is out with their follow up album NO DIVIDING LINE and once again, the band lets songcraft shine in place of flashy soundbites concocted in a studio. This time around, songwriter and lead singer DAVE VON BECK is joined by guitarists JEFF FIELDER, and SCOTT BECKER, bassist BOB DIEHM, and drummer CASEY MILLER and presence of these ace players makes NO DIVIDING LINE the perfect marriage of raw , acoustic Americana and electricity. Beautiful stuff!