Dogs Die in Hot Cars

Okay, so in this case, it’s not the band that’s weird per se; it’s the way they’re working on their latest project. Dogs Die in Hot Cars is an awesome band from Scotland that first surfaced in 2004–a somewhat unfortunate time, as they got a bit unfairly lumped in with other similar-sounding Scottish and Brit-pop bands of the day like Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, Futureheads, etc. After releasing just one EP (Man Bites Man) and one full-length album (Please Describe Yourself), the quintet decided to call it a day, abandoning work on a follow-up album in 2007 and going their separate ways. Or so we thought!

Last year, the band resurfaced, releasing demo tracks from their second album one at a time on their website along with the “stems” or individual elements, i.e. vocals, guitar, keys, etc., which they encouraged fans to use to create their own remixes or alternate versions of the songs. They’re calling the whole project “Dogs Die in Hot Cars is making Pop Nonsense.”

Bands releasing stems for fans to create their own remixes is nothing new; artists from Nine Inch Nails to Radiohead have launched similar projects. But here’s where it gets interesting: DDIHC is promising to release their favorite fan-submitted mixes in an album sometime in the near future and split the royalties 50-50 with the contributors. It’s band 2.0!

We did a lot of digging on the web and have been unable to get the full backstory on this project; it doesn’t seem like the band has discussed it at all with the press, or if they have, any stories about Dog Dies in Hot Cars, the band, tend to get buried under “Dogs die in hot cars!”, the public service announcement. Either the members of DDIHC couldn’t agree on the final mixes or arrangements for their songs, or they got bored, or they got hosed somehow when their label V2 Records, dropped its entire artist roster in early 2007, which would have been right around the time they were in the midst of recording the tracks that make up Pop Nonsense. Also, a few months ago, the band announced that it was no longer taking submissions for the project and pulled all the downloadable tracks and stems off their website. So most of the music is no longer readily available at this point, unless you’re lucky enough to know someone who downloaded all 17 songs.

There really isn’t anything from Pop Nonsense available on YouTube, and the band’s earlier material, while fabulous in its own XTC/Madness way, isn’t really all that weird. But here’s a link to a stream of the title track. (We were really hoping to find this one track called “Serious,” which has a sort of drunken, impending-pub-brawl chorus that goes something like “Serious! I’m fookin’ serious! Serious! I’m so illy serious!” But alas, we came up empty.) The band may be calling these “demos,” but they sound pretty polished to us…in a good way. Here’s hoping the full Pop Nonsense project, original tracks and remixes, finally gets a proper release, because these guys definitely deserve to be rediscovered.


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One thought on “Dogs Die in Hot Cars

  1. Marcelo

    “So most of the music is no longer readily available at this point, unless you’re lucky enough to know someone who downloaded all 17 songs.”

    I’m one of these lucky dudes.

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