DogHouse Swine: Dogs Of War

DogHouse Swine pic

    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 trackDogs Of War CD Cover 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.

RingMaster 31/12/2012

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Supercharger: Retox EP

UK rock band Supercharger gave strong indication they were a band to watch out for with their debut EP Smashing Up The Future and compounded that and more with their debut album Wrong Side Of The Head. Now the band are set to unleash their new EP Retox May 7th and simply they have taken another leap forward to further mark themselves as one of best underground rock bands in the UK and mere steps away from larger and further afield recognition.

Formed in 2007, the quartet from Newcastle Upon Tyne create rock music that hits hard, snarls and bites with aggression, and is as infectious as a nudist beach to under aged teens. It is loud, eager, and thoroughly mischievous, just how rock n roll should be. As mentioned from their debut release through Nascar Records Supercharger immediately drew attention not to mention their raucous and irrepressible live shows but it was with a line-up change in 2009 that a definition and focus emerged to take the band on to another level. Their music is fuelled with attitude, a boisterous mix of rock and punk that is like The Wildhearts and DC4 in a riotous union with Eddie and The Hot Rods and The Damned with a splash of Therapy? in for good measure. Since forming they have shared stages with the likes of Wednesday 13, Sorry and the Sinatras, Bullets and Octane, and Eureka Machines, as well as Ginger “wildhearts” and friends, their sound a ready and eager fit with all styles of rock.

The EP comes with three tracks that burst with muscular combative riffs, infectious melodies and compulsive grooves all  wrapped in a middle finger punk intent that whips the senses up into a willing frenzy.  There is also an unapologetic pop punk essence that adds to the addictive sounds making each song an immediate friend and rebellious companion. The title track is the perfect example; opening up on an easy going punk vocal from Nick and the commanding beats of Denz it grabs attention from the start with incoming direct and stirring riffs. It then dips into a melodic deep breath before exploding with a chorus that reminds of the excellent UK band of the nineties Skyscraper. It is heady stuff easily matched by the other two tracks on Retox.

Postcards is a punkier slice of rock which infects with a groove that teases and taunts until compliance. The song lays a flurry of diverse and imaginative but always absorbing sidesteps as it progresses to ensure predictability never has a place near the music. With a strong flavour of Therapy? the song pulsates persistently luring one in deeper and deeper, the guitars of Nick and John winding the senses around their open and acidic riffs whilst the riffs of Nasha grumble and growl like a bass always should. The song throws in a rock solo before its pulsating corruptive end which should not work but the band make it work to make any prospective moans redundant.

Third track Hold It Down completes the release with the same quality and irresistible presence as the others. The track stalks in with menace to then flick into a pop punk gem full of urgency and eagerness. It starts off like The Vapors, turns into Rocket From The Crypt/Hagfish before bringing the Wildhearts in to rile it all up. Do not mistake all the references for the impression the songs simply slap pieces of other bands on, it is a mere series of spices that make strong songs even tastier. The track is excellent and it and the repeat button is a need that is impossible to tear one away from.

There were expectations of something good to come from Retox but it has gone way beyond the imagined great sounds. Supercharger is a band on the march and now is the time to join their ascent before they trample you under foot on the way up.

RingMaster 27/04/2012 Registered & Protected

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DC4 – Electric Ministry

It is fair to say that many hard rock bands and releases are generally predictable, not necessarily bad, just that you know what you are going to get before a note is played and there is often no distinction from one band to another who are effectively and sometimes satisfyingly reproducing the same set sound of the genre. Unless a real fan of hard rock it can be off putting from checking out bands and their music, but it is bands like DC4 who make sure nothing should be taken for granted and shows that there is some strong and intriguing blood pumping through the heart of the genre.
The L.A. rockers show with new album Electric Ministry on Metal Blade Records that the time between their previous release Explode and this has not been a barren time ideas wise, Electric Ministry being a breeze of hard rock sounds infused with strong and vibrant metal riffs and tones. Consisting of the brothers Duncan, vocalist/guitarist Jeff (Armored Saint, Odin), Matt on bass, and drummer Shawn (Odin) plus Rowan Robertson (ex-Dio) on guitar, DC4 have produced an album that shows at its best why rock fuels the day for so many.  
Electric Ministry begins on the short instrumental burst of melodic energy ‘Wrecktory’ setting up an edge for the title track to ride in upon. With driving hard riffs and a deep throbbing bassline ‘Electric Ministry’ delivers strong effective rock ‘ n’ roll, Jeff’s vocals punctuating the track purposely and strongly with his classic rock vocals. This is a good blend that features throughout the whole album, the classic and hard rock styling from his vocals and band harmonies as well as some delicious rock guitar play all combining with some direct and dark aggressive riffs that would not seem out of place on a Spineshank or Sick Puppies album.
Two of the best three tracks on the release are the sexed up wonderful ‘filth’ of ‘XXX’, a riot of aggressive loin fire that is as infectious as the subject matter for any respectable rock star is itself, and ‘Rock God’ with the best combination of body throbbing induced bass and drum rhythms heard this year, pounding behind some guitar and melodies that point to a Alice in Chains/ Stone Temple Pilot feel and touch. Matt’s bass is imperial and alone would make the song something special but everyone is at their pinnacle making the track irresistible. The third glorious track comes later in the shape of the dark, venomous ‘Sociopath’, again rippling with wickedly devious riffs and intensity. Though many of the tracks are right there supporting with great sounds and quality such as ’25 To Life’ and ‘People’ another great bass driven track , both having a good John Bush era Anthrax flavour to them, ‘Sociopath’ and the other duo of tracks take Electric Ministry to a much higher level.
One of the strong positives about Electric Ministry is its strength in bringing the hard rock and metal elements together to appeal to both set of fans. Possibly tracks like ‘The Ballad Of Rock And Roll’ and ‘Glitter Girl’ might not work for those not into the hard rock sound particularly but with eight other great tracks that surely will it is not an issue and with the great rock flavourings, vocals and guitar sounds on the heavier riff laden songs pleasing traditional rock fans this is a all win album for all.
Electric Ministry has the quality hand of Bill Metoyer guiding it and it is hard to imagine anyone anywhere that could have made it sound any better or have the understanding of what the band wants as well as him. Production is crisp allowing each member to excel and be heard in perfect tandem with each other. DC4 have shown that hard rock does not have to be a replica of what came before and mirror everyone else currently and with Electric Ministry given essential listening for many other rock favouring ears.

RingMaster 23/07/2011 Registered & Protected


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