Dogs Of War, the latest album from US rockers DogHouse Swine is not a release which re-invents the wheel but it sure smashes aside any bumps in the road not ready to join its bruising riot. The nine track album is a muscular treat which rampages through the ear like an antagonistic adversary whose only real intent is to offer up a good feisty time, something it does with ease.
The New Jersey band has earned a good reputation for their sounds and energy through live shows, which has seen them share stages with the likes of Electric Frankenstein, and Mucky Pup, and their previous album Faster Side Of Normal. Formed in 2009 by lead guitarist and vocalist Ian with former The Wretched Ones guitar player B.T. and co-founder and drummer Chris DeBellis, the band has been on a powerful rise which the new release only adds stock to. Now a quartet with bassist Iron Rich joining during 2012 which saw B.T. moving from bass to rhythm guitar within the band, DogHouse Swine has unleashed an album to stir up the heart and quell inhibitions with its punk rock passion and breath; a punk n roll treat to bring an insatiable party to each and every day.
The release opens with the first single from the album, I’m Suffocated. From its barging riffs and keen sonic guitar squalls the track has limbs and senses at the mercy of its powerful rhythms, venomous basslines, and sizzling guitar play. The effected vocals bring a menace to proceedings before turning into a defiant and raw rub across the ear. The song is a fiery excursion for the passions, an aggressive and anthemic instigator for which only full enthusiasm and energy can be given in return. The song like their sound overall, reminds of bands like Motorhead, Joecephus and The George Jonestown Massacre, and DC4 delivered with a healthy presence of punk rock found in the likes of Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers. It is not anything particularly brand new to the ear but brought with an accomplished skill and unbridled musical lust which takes it above most similarly sounding contemporaries.
The excellent Hard Luck Education takes over next with more of the same offered in a different thrilling guise. There is a swagger to the song which makes it openly infectious though the sing-a-long chorus and teasing melodies are as much to blame for its pleasing contagion. It is fair to say both tracks are like old friends, companions you basically know but with a new wrap of quality aural clothing to make them deeply welcome and enjoyable.
The glorious chunky riffs and ravenous basslines within Open Wide bring a new angle to the release, the slower stalking gait of the song an intimidating and fully rewarding confrontation, whilst Nonstop To Nowhere pulls one into a vintage punk brawl of belligerence and honest acceptance. Both leave one greedily satisfied and eager to hear more of the barracking rhythms and scathing sonic riffs crafted impressively by the band. Neither song is arguably as memorable as the previous tracks but still only light further desire to share their sounds again and often.
Goin’ Down The Bar is a song you will not forget, from its predatory bass leering start through the rampant guitar scrubbing and vocal celebration and on to the anthemic alcohol dripping declaration, the track is an irresistible and simple mission all can aspire to and climb on board with, thematically and musically. There are no frills or pretty decorations to the song, just pure and raw rock n roll, a claim you can happily throw at every track.
Dogs Of War is completed by a quartet of live cuts including the single Bitch from their earlier album. The tracks are rough and in your face, brawling at you as if you were there at the time. They do pale compared to the studio tracks but still only incite the need to retrospectively check out Faster Side Of Normal and catch them live if the opportunity arises.
If you want a slab of true and undiluted rock n roll/punk rock then DogHouse Swine is a band for you. With a new video for Goin’ Down The Bar directed by Dave Neabore of Dog Eat Dog fame ( he also did the one for Bitch) due soon and the planning of their third album for a possible August release, 2013 is looking like being a big year for the band and our grateful ears going by their latest album.
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