Suicide never goes out of style — the band, I mean, not the practice. But in the wake of the tragic death of frontman Alan Vega back in 2016, you might have found yourself wondering where the next weirdo synth-pop duo is coming from. The answer may surprise you: It’s New Zealand. Christchurch, to be exact. That’s apparently the home base of DOG Power (not sure what the capitalization is for, but it’s their style, so I’m going with it). And on their half-hour self-titled debut album, singer Sam Perry and multi-instrumentalist Henry Nicol make it clear they’ve also spent some quality time with the ominously skittery works of Vega and partner Martin Rev. Though it must be said that Perry is way more of a crooner than slapback echo-loving psychobilly poet Vega ever was — and Nicol likes to put plenty more melody into his malevolent mood music. So even though they clearly know their Suicide, DOG Power’s musical comfort zone extends much farther and wider, encompassing a veritable pack of influences from Berlin-era Iggy Pop fare like Nightclubbin’ to some of The Stranglers’ and The Doors’ more stripped-back, keyboard-heavy moments. But make no mistake: This dog might not have much bark, but it’s got some seriously sharp teeth. All the better to bite you with.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “DOG Power showcases the talents of core members Sam Perry (Zen Mantra, Yumi Zouma) and Henry Nicol, who captured the hearts of local listeners earlier this year with their smouldering single Not Human. That song will be accompanied by six more mysterious tunes, with such evocative titles as Dark Nights, Dark Hotels and Love Potion. Experience their Lynchian video for Not Human below.”