Sisters Lucy and Gwendolyn Giles were just 11 and 13 respectively when I first encountered them at a day-long music festival in 2009, and I immediately became a fan of their simple punk-driven pop songs. At some point I dubbed them “The Shonen Knife of Sacramento,” and I think that goes a long way in describing the sort of appeal they’ve had for me. As with that cherished band from Osaka, Dog Party has been significantly impacted by the Ramones in developing their sound while drawing from any number of other influences to fill it out. Although they performed quite a few covers during live shows, the overwhelming majority of recorded songs have been self-written. I’ve literally watched them grow up as they’ve matured as both musicians and songwriters. Although I like the melodic and inventive pop of their first two albums Dog Party (2009) and P.A.R.T.Y!!! (2011), their third CD Lost Control (2013) is where they proved they could show the big boys a thing or two. With catchy tracks like “Jet Pack,” “I Can’t Wait,” and “Best Friend” and punked-out rockers such as “Flamingo Go!,” “Gutters,” and a cover of X’s “Los Angeles,” it was a formidable display of what the teens were truly capable of. Rather than rest on their laurels, they followed that one up with Vol. 4 (2015) and ‘Til You’re Mine (2016), which more-or-less perfected the punk-pop style they had settled into. In 2016 alone, they released their fifth album, made an appearance in the sequel to SLC Punk, had two of their songs played by Iggy Pop on his BBC Radio show, and toured with Green Day just before that band’s well-publicized performance on The American Music Awards. Showing they had the ability to branch out into other projects, Gwendolyn was once half of a synth-pop duo known as Ugly Bunny while Lucy has manned the drums for several groups, including Kepi Ghoulie and Pets. Needless to say, I’m exceedingly proud of these ladies and am excited to see what the future holds for them!
Bonus Fun Fact – Critic Everett True (aka The Legend) once referred to Dog Party as “The World’s Greatest Rock Band” after I sent him the link for a video of them performing their song “Sunny Days.” And who’s to say they aren’t, right?
You can find Dog Party’s Lost Control for sale here: https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Control-DOG-PARTY/dp/B00E492UWE