Colonial Canine/BMI, 2012
By Shane Pinnegar
America’s favourite booze-fuelled hard rockin’ riff road train again prove why they are such an adored cult act throughout their homeland and beyond.
A machine gunned boogie riff punctuated by a guitar squealing like a freshly dumped teenager rams Devil Dog down your throat for starters, before the hilarious (check the video clip on YouTube!) Just Like Charlie Sheen takes things down South for a sleazy, turbocharged ZZ Top-like slide workout.
It’s feisty stuff and reminiscent of bassist/vocalist Michael Hannon’s former bands Salty Dog and Dangerous Toys – keep all the sleaze and groove and Southern inflections, just turn the heaviness up a few notches, and add generous amounts of alcohol.
American Dog have settled comfily into their niche much like you settle into a big bean bag – they know they do what they do better than anybody so there’s no need to change the formula or reinvent the wheel on this, something like their 11th CD.
The Real Nitty Gritty is a great slab of hard rock that’s heavy on the roll, with some fireworks courtesy of guitarist Steve Theado, and helps redefine how powerful a ‘power trio’ really can be.
Title track Poison Smile is a grinding slab of metal snarl – think Pantera on valium – which follows on from the evocative acoustic & electric guitar instrumental 2012A.D., which proves there’s a lot more to these guys than bludgeoning Southern fried riffs and red raw throaty paeans to road weary booze-driven shenanigans.
There’s the mad-heavy boogie of Lust & Greed, and the self explanatory boozy comedy of Bathroom Romance – featuring Nate Hollman hammering out a boogie woogie barroom piano - and Splinterin’ Sally, which have 'The Dog veering towards Nashville Pussy territory in a big way.
Off The Chain is another blistering slab of Southern heavy rock, like a drunken HellYeah!, before a transformative take on Can Your Pussy Do The Dog eradicates all memory of The Cramps, relocating the song to a trailer park in the hinterland so successfully that you can smell the stale bourbon and backed up plumbing. Superb!
Review posted 27 June 2012