Ah, good old AMERICAN DOG. There is always a lot of talk about honest music, down-to-earth-ism, blue collar Rock and what have you, the gentlemen Hannon, Theado and Garisto should be in the encyclopedia under each of these entries, because AMERICAN DOG are epitomes of all of them! Ever since their inception the trio could not have cared less about trends, modern techniques and all that, they still are analog, they still are basic Rock, they still have the same basic lyrics about women, beer and any combination out of the two you could possibly imagine and they still groove like hell.
And still the old dog surprised me with a new trick right off the get-go, with opening instrumental “Bock” (given their love for beer, they might actually have taken the title from a Bavarian strong beer), because I have never heard the guys so fast, going up to double-bass, now that is a way to wake you up! And “No Pity” stays energetic, not as frenetic, but still packing a nice punch, crowned by Hannon’s trademark snarly vocals. Over the following ten more tracks AMERICAN DOG manage to stay away from innovation as much as they can (only “Hypnotized” sounds a bit different than what we are used to, but it still is AD), but they are the kind of band with the kind of sound, where people don’t care about it, just because you can feel that this is no head-music, this is written and played straight from the guts. And with that also come lyrics that minors should be kept away from, just see “Sometimes You Eat The Pussy”… No, kids, this is not about the Asian tradition of eating a cat…
Anyways, other than one track that doesn’t work with me (“Little Short”), aptly titled “Hard” is an album that will be an instant hit in the working class and among rednecks (so Alberta should yield a pretty good fanbase for the Ohioans), but basically anybody, who wants it natural and honest should enjoy this. If you don’t believe me, check out the already mentioned “Bock” and “No Pity” as well as “Beaten, Broken, Etc.”, “Spell On Me” or “Magnificent Bastard” and hear from yourself. You feel the sand between your teeth, you can smell the sweat, you feel the sun burning your pelt – and that is just from listening to this album, I love it!
(Online July 20, 2007)