Boston alternative beach-rock band Dune Dogs went to their favorite hideaway at their barn practice spot, and wrote the full album, After a While, during the home-schooled period of the pandemic. The pandemic time was focused on the album and their vision to make something impactful, relatable and create songs that oozed their own unique style and that was in no way similar to mainstream music. The band covers popular surf and beach covers and original music that blends island and beach music that attracts an energic mingling and dancing crowd.
The synergy and cohesiveness throughout the album is evident with the distinct hybrid sound that blends pop, reggae, blues and funk along with salty beach vibes splashing through each track. This is a listen to again and again album where fans will keep changing which songs are their top favorites. In the first weeks of its release, songs on the album have been placed on 60+ playlists, have accumulated 30,000+ Spotify streams, and have been reviewed on numerous music publications.
The band describes themselves as an alternative beach-rock band with a distinct hybrid sound that blends influences of pop, reggae and funk. They were formed in October 2019 by school friends/surfer enthusiasts Nick Bernarducci (lead vocals), Nick Brescio (lead guitar), Beau Colvin (bass, keyboard), and Ben Buckley (drums).
After a While is an album that takes the listener on an extremely fun, wild 9-track ride that will leave them wanting more. With this album, Dune Dogs showcase incredible songwriting abilities in tracks such as “Warm Weather State”, “Citrus”, “Mangroves”, “Las Olas”, and “Under My Spell”, making it very easy to see that this band is worthy of more attention. After a While has something for fans of many different genres, including punk, pop, rock, and even elements of reggae and blues. Fans who value strong, melodic vocal performances will be very pleased with this album due to singer Nick Bernaducci vocals truly shining through in each song.
The top streaming track, “Citrus”, builds on their classic style of laid back, catchy surf rock writing. Full of melody and color, with “Citrus” they lay down yet another rhythmically breezy indie work that shows their penchant for writing captivating guitar-based music. -Plastic Magazine-UK
Their collective commitment to keep on growing their song catalogue which will soon have 17 songs once their second full-length album, After a While, is released, will move them in exciting new directions in their young music careers. The pandemic time spent creating new music was focused on their love for uplifting fun songs audiences would love at the first listen.
The album excites you to listen track to track, and the solid songwriting and musicianship are masterful throughout the album. Some of the album’s early favorites are recapped and reviewed below.
“Under My Spell” is a track that is full of attitude in the best way possible. The new single digs into the all-too-common entrapment of obsessive love, its intentions, and the battle to be freed of its suffocation. With this song, Dune Dogs have their catchiest chorus yet, and one that sounds fitting for an arena performance. Singer Nick Bernaducci showcases his incredible vocal range and provides in this electrifying, anthemic sounding track. The band does a brilliant job of combining elements of pop and funk with rock in this track, creating a style reminiscent of old-school Maroon 5 that emphasizes all its best elements. “Under My Spell”, without a doubt, is one of the strongest tracks on the album and could quite possibly be a breakout song for Dune Dogs. The songs arrangement strategically rides along with the song’s emotional cycles. The twenty seconds of arpeggiated guitar riffs move to new highs towards the song's end, and ring out the desperation and showcases the band’s musicianship and well-balanced diverse arrangement. ”I need something better for you, something better for me”, signals hope both will survive and move on. Double vocals on the chorus reinforce the mission to escape. and are anchored by buoyant drums and groovy reggae rhythms, accurately singing a story of obsessive intensions.
“Citrus” is an incredible track that immediately hooks the listener with a stellar instrumental section that showcases a blues influence combined with aspects of old-school pop. Guitarist Nick Brescio, bassist Beau Colvin, and drummer Ben Buckley maintain an infectiously groovy rhythm section that is reminiscent of Santana while singer Nick Bernarducci’s vocals carry the listener with a strong lyrical flow that fills every section beautifully. Nick Berscio once again shines in this song with a beach-rock oriented guitar solo that provides the perfect ending for this absolute banger of a track. The island groove of “Citrus”, has a grasp on appeal with fans curiosity sparked throughout the song. The song leaves the emotions open for interpretation when a friend never showed up and the long walk back to home was a welcome escape to take all the surroundings in and enjoy the time with no connection to anyone or any place. Just sandy shorts, blown out flip flops and the citrus air established the mood. “Citrus stings on my arms my back”, the chorus’s hook, captures the mystery present in the song, and the decision to not wait and move forward with resilience and strength.
“Las Olas” is a melodically beautiful track which features one of singer Nick Bernarducci’s strongest most emotional vocal performances alongside a mesmerizing instrumental. This track is, by far, one of the most atmospheric on the entire album, with Beau Colvin’s incredible keyboard work providing the foundation of a truly magical track. Where Dune Dogs truly shine in “Las Olas” is the songs chorus, which features beautiful vocal melodies as well as guitarist Nick Brescio’s lovely guitar work that weaves in and out of the track. Overall, “Las Olas” once again shows that Dune Dogs have incredible songwriting abilities, bringing listeners a track that will undoubtedly make them return to this album and band many times in the future.
“River Road” sees the band showcasing a high energy pop-punk/alternative sound with an upbeat, catchy chorus that has the potential to be a true singalong. The track is also full of soaring vocal harmonies that help bring the listener on quite an enjoyable ride. To top it all off, midway through the song, the band enters a beach rock-oriented guitar section that will have listeners dancing before they know it. The song aligns well to fans of bands such as Blink-182, Ramones, and R.E.M.
“Warm Weather State” immediately grabs the listener’s attention with lead singer Nick Bernarducci’s soothing a cappella introduction. The band then retains that attention with more incredible vocals and beach rock/reggae rock groove that is very reminiscent of the glory days of Red Hot Chili Peppers. If that wasn’t enough, the band ends with an energetic, hard rocking guitar solo and rhythm section that will electrify rockers from all crowds. Overall, this song is a very strong opener for this album and is bound to lead the listeners forward through the full album.
“Mangroves” features an incredible vocal performance from singer Nick Bernarducci and a soothing instrumental that is reminiscent of the softer side of Green Day. “Mangroves” sees Dune Dogs shine dynamically, with the song switching between soft, melodic, vocal focused verses and an awesome alternative rock chorus that could easily compete with mainstream radio rock songs. This song also showcases Dune Dogs’ ability to make effective tempo changes that provide the listener with a very fun twist. “Mangroves” is an example of truly great songwriting, and is a track that has the potential to be an absolute hit.
After a While is an album destined for awards and attention from local and national awards. The band plans to book a summer packed with shows throughout the New England Region, and will start working on new releases. They’ve got their custom Dune Dogs van ready to cruise the New England coast. The band plays all over the North Shore region and in 2021 performed at Plum Island Grille, Metzy Cantina, Newburyport Brewery, Franconia Rugby Festival and Yankee Homecoming parade. There were the 2020 High School Battle of the Band’s winner which helped them obtain added exposure and open new opportunities,
Written by Patty Duffey and Maximilian Wentz
Photography by Patty Duffey Photography