Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Are they for real?  I always have a weird feeling about contest winners, but in this case I gotta say they deserve it all and more.  Having seen the furry fellows in concert, I can attest to their energy and talent, and they continue to do exactly what you've come to expect.  That is, lots of sounds that reek of the 70's (the better-smelling parts) yet keeping a lot of their own unique charm.

The funny thing is, for all the "gee, doesn't that sound like...." moments, the loyal mutts never settle into one retro groove.  Feeling Good starts off with a T. Rex stomp and Bolan boogie riff, but the chorus has Sheepdogs harmonies and an Edgar Winter moment in the instrumental.  Never Gonna Get My Love could be a George Harrison song in parts, except Ewan Currie sounds nothing like him, and the bottom end on the bridge is a lot harder than George ever went.  But the harmonies sure sound like Jeff Lynne was involved.  Javelina! is an instrumental that begins in Allman Bros. territory with a hint of Santana, and then switches to a fusion thing before coming back to the start.

The song craft is a bit more experimental this time out, although still back in the Me Decade.  Is Your Dream Worth Dying For? is adept pop, with a sweet start, all Badfinger/Todd Rundgren, but with a very heavy guitar break, and about five different parts.  None of the songs are basic verse-chorus-verse; they seem to delight in tangents, and that makes it a lot more entertaining.  Look, sorry about all the name-dropping, and believe me, I'm not a fan of the "they sound like this act" school of review, but hopefully with all the different names getting thrown around, you'll know the canine quartet are about playing what they think is the best, mixing it all up, and coming up with a new way to present it.  Zeppelin, Doobie Brothers, Jeff Beck, Traffic, Canned Heat, Guess Who, etc., etc.

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