|Title:||Death By Drowning|
When we did get the request for a review of the new The Dogs' album, I firstly thought it was not the same gang of madmen from Oslo I saw live with Kvelertak on October 17 last year: could it be them? After all, their latest work, "Swamp Gospel Promises", was released on January 2016… It seemed too soon. So, when I did check that the band was that very one, that Norwegian catchy garage-punk group which I even put in my personal list of the Top 30 Albums of 2016, I felt like I was going to have a heart attack if I was not going to work on their new stuff… And so I got it!
Sorry for such a prosaic banging on, I just had to make clear how much I like them and how it feels good to listen to their brand new "Death By Drowing". Also, knowing that since 2014 The Dogs have been releasing an album each year, the news of another newborn work of theirs so soon shouldn't have seemed to me that unusual.
Ten tracks, whose first one is the short, strong and sharp "Oslo", that acts as a business card which presents the band to those who didn't know them. Two minutes and half filled with angry vocals (almost screamed), an organ in the background and a — if we could call it so — chorus that keeps on blasting your brain even after you put back the CD inside its case; therafter, we get to song number 2, whose title reawakens the Doom inside all of us: "All Of Us Kids Were Accidents". That is provided with a linear structure as consistent as the one of its follower, "Why Is The Flesh So Strong", characterised by a slower rhythm and deep vocals, although as distorted as always, and in a certain way even dramatic, surrounded by such a catchy chords changes that it's almost impossible not to start singing along with Kris. I dare say that it has some sort of epicness within, both for the choir in the end and the whole instrumental accompaniment: try it, take your shot! A similar mood it's been mixed within "It Still Hurts", a song whose lyrics are dedicated to a father who's gone and whose loss is still an open wound, which still hurts.
Hard rock-ish solos played over pop-punk ("Declaration Of Isolation"), a harmonica which plays the lead role ("Please Say Something") and even more rock influences ("Where The Circle Joins") prove us that here there are unequivocally lots and lots of sparks and ideas. The voice gets once again fierce with "Stay Under Water", whose strong point is choirs, whilst, with "Get Away From Me", I suddenly found myself back to Nineties' pop-punk — though it's just for a couple of minutes — when everyone just dressed quite randomly (which happens to be still à la mode). "The Rain Held A Thousand Needles" marks the end with its harmonica chorus, a somehow classic piano and some good, motivating speech: «Live, you that do, live».
That's it, nothing more to add, if not that The Dogs did it again: they got another album which, I already know, I'm going to be listening to for the next days, over and over again. Being these the the premises, I'm going to meet them once again in my end of the year's Top 30; in the meanwhile I'm waiting anxiously for another live gig of theirs and — even if it's going to mean once again penises in the air — I'm going to be prepared, keeping in my mind that, as well as they're fiercely charismatic, they'll be hugging everyone once again, at the end of the show.
Come back soon!