The glowing eyes of the golden retriever gracing the cover of the Golden Dogs' long-awaited third record suggest that something dark and sinister is lurking in their music, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Four long years since the Toronto, ON-based quintet dropped their excellent sophomore disc, Big Eye Little Eye, comes Coat of Arms. Produced with the help of Zeus's Carlin Nicholson and Mike O'Brien, the record trades the breakneck indie rock of the band's past for retro-'60s R&B. Driven by a mid-tempo piano riff, "Dear Francis" opens the album, while Bahamas' Alfie Jurvanen lends a hand on "As Long as You Like," with its start-stop rhythm. But Coat of Arms doesn't find its groove until fourth track "Weapon." From there, the album begins to pick up steam, culminating with "Permanent Record," the best summation of the band's new emphasis on rhythm. Though a bit uneven, Coat of Arms shows the Golden Dogs unwilling to rest on their laurels, continuing to evolve as a band. It's certainly their most ambitious album and it houses some fantastic slabs of retro indie rock.
-Ian Gormely, July 26, 2010, exclaim.ca