Richmond is a town thriving with music from all genres and sub-genres. Whether it is punk, hardcore, metal, indie, emo, rap, or hip-hop, bands always need to figure out a way to stand out in a scene packed with other bands. Dog Lagoon has managed to do so. This up-and-coming 2000s emo-meets-Julien Baker indie-punk band from Richmond is one that everyone needs to hear.
The band, consisting of Emily Hardenberger (Guitar, Vocals) Marshall B. Mulkey (Guitar, Vocals) Patrick Allen (Bass) Chris Corbo (Drums), found themselves playing together after Hardenberger reached out to Mulkey and Corbo.
“It started as just Emily and Marshall writing acoustic songs around March of 2017,” said Corbo. “We [Marshall and Chris] were in another band called Sushi Twin, and during the summer of 2017, Emily and Marshall asked me to drum for Dog Lagoon. We played a couple shows as a two-guitar, one-drum trio.”
The trio soon realized that they were in a good spot and wanted to keep the momentum that they had going. “We wanted to start gigging more seriously and more often, and recruited our friend Patrick Allen, former bassist of Inquiry to manage the low end.” said Mulkey. “The four of us have been rocking hard since then.”
Rocking hard is something that they have definitely been sticking to. The group recently released their Moneyball EP, which consists of two upbeat songs, “I Don’t Smoke” and “Free Juice.”
Songwriting responsibilities have been split up 50/50 between Hardenberger and Mulkey. “They’re the masterminds,” said Corbo. “The process so far has been, one of them comes up with the basic foundation of a song, and they’d bring it to the rest of band. I handle the beat department, the other guitarist finds a sick riff to play over it, and Patrick just tries to figure out what’s going on.”
Although the band claims that the Moneyball EP was simply a quick two songs meant to get their music and their voice out there, it sounds anything but rushed. It brings you back to the mid 2000s emo and indie resurgence. All of the recordings were done by Corbo, who has recorded previous bands and is looking for more bands to record as well (“other Richmond bands, hello!” they quipped at one point). The EP sounds clean and well mastered while also keeping the DIY grittiness of the genre intact.
The band continues to do a lot in the Richmond scene, playing shows with such well-known bands as Big Mama Shakes and recording a music video for the song “Free Juice.” But their impact does not stop with the music.
Both Mulkey and Corbo are non-binary and go by they/them pronouns. The band hopes to make an impact and educate listeners on what it means to be non-binary. They hope to raise awareness of the struggle to live outside the gender binary and try to find outlets for personal expression of gender while navigating a xenophobic society that doesn’t understand, and often doesn’t want to.
“We have been met with nothing but respect from the community,” said Hardenberg “We are looking forward to advocate more for the LGBTQ community within the indie and pop-punk scene, where most of our contemporaries just consist of 3 or 4, tall and skinny, middle class, cisgender, straight, white males who write misogynistic songs about their exes.”
Dog Lagoon has a lot of momentum right now, and no plans on stopping. “For our next record we want to have us all writing everything together from the beginning rather than splitting the work 50/50,” said Corbo. “We are totally independent right now and are just waiting for a hot label to pick us up. We’re not too good for labels–everybody needs help.”
Top Photo by Destiny Martinez