Dave Keener’s new album Like An Animal is 8 tracks of power pop with a shot of folk rock. His sound and songwriting style may remind some listeners of artists like Marshall Crenshaw, Tommy Keene Richard X Heyman and Nick Lowe. And, he brings his compelling lyrics and stories to life with a warm, intimate vocal style that is both knowing and youthful.
Keener’s songs are funny and surprising without snark, romantic with a touch of irony, and distinguished by a sense of playfulness. Babe Magnet is about the dog he adopted in hopes of attracting women, only to find the animal drove them away. Girls and Guitars cranks up the telecaster to lament the strange tendency of playing guitar to attract a mate at first and repel her later. Ooh Ooh Ooh—to which Dave’s wife Jo Honig-Keener walked down the aisle— is a mid-tempo ballad with lush harmonies that tells the tale of two Gen X’ers who were meant to be together but took decades to connect.
Remember all those nights when you lay in bed
That was me whispering to you in your head
Last of the Mohicans, I used to say
I will find you, I will find you someday
Like An Animal is a fun record. Take the song, Who Told the Jukebox? Possibly the last song to ever be written about a jukebox, the song tells the disco driven tale of a man who believes someone is playing sad songs on the barroom jukebox just to torment his broken heart. The music video takes the singer’s paranoia to an even higher level—depicting him on the streets of Brooklyn pursued by a mobile jukebox that only he can see.
Like An Animal is Keener’s third solo album in the past five years. The first of these was The Easy Way (“This one’s a winner” — Jeffrey Sisk, The Daily News (PA)). Steve Holtje of Culture Catch wrote ““Singer-songwriter stuff stands or falls on the quality of the tunes, and this one stands tall in that regard.” Keener followed up with Slugger (2013). This album was acclaimed for its “witty, white-collar storytelling” (Tris McCall, Newark Star-Ledger) and “instantly lovable guitar pop with infectious melodies” (LMNOP aka dONW7, BabySue.com). The album was also recognized by Absolute Powerpop as one of the top Power Pop albums of the year.
Keener also hosts the songwriter showcase , Songwriter Deathmatch (“Not to be missed”—South Slope News”), in which he shares the stage with three or four other songwriters, each bringing their A game and their audience for a show that’s been called “A win-win concept” by Hans Werkmann of Here Comes the Flood.
As Them Keener Boys, Dave and his brother Tom (“Best Local Comedians” New York Press) recorded an eponymously titled full length music and comedy CD. Keener also wrote the song Mr. Johnson, which was recorded by the Shimmy-Disc band, King Missile.