Share HYPERSENSITIVE - The DoGs (Detroit Records)
It shouldn't be a shock that this re-animated trio from Los Angeles via the Motor City have delivered premium grade Real Rock and Roll on this one. The proof is in the contemporary "Doggy Days" double DVD set from their recent tour of Japan. It and this studio CD are essential.

If you know The DoGs, it'll most likely be via their Dionysus retrospective "Fed Up" from 2000 which gave wide exposure to the handful of tracks the band recorded in their mid-'70s heyday. (There's another studio release from the same time that I haven't been able to procure.) The band goes all the way back to high school in Lansing, Michigan, and figured in the dying days of the Grande Ballroom (they played twice with the MC5.) They hotfooted it briefly to NYC, then settled in LA to achieve their rock and roll dreams. There was major label interest but like all but the most placid of punk bands back then, the train left without them.

"Hypersensitive" clocks in just under 40 minutes. The DoGs say more in that time and a dozen songs than most manage to do in a box set. These tunes are lean and raw and go straight for the throat. The playing is fantastic.

Loren Molinare has a fat guitar tone and doesn't waste a note. He never forgets his roots, infusing "In On The Out" with Ashetonesque wah-wah and namechecking all the Detroit heroes (with snatches of borrowed ramalama riffs) in "Motor City Fever." Vocally, he's right on the money, too, pitching it right into the sweet zone with passion.

Mary Kay (pioneering female bass player a la Ms Quatro) lays down the sort of melodic sonic bedrock that's needed to make a power trio work, without getting all existential. Tony Matteuci's drumming is a force of nature. Forced to make a comparison, I'd say "Hypersensitive" sits with the Dictators' "DFFD" and "Dodge This!" by Italy's Loose.

Did I say the songs were great? "Her Name Was Jane" covers similar territory as the Powder Monkeys' "Get The Girl Straight" and powers along like a runaway armoured car. "What Goes In Quiet Comes Out Loud" is all too fitting with the sonic ethos of The DoGs and co-producer Paul Hilton. "Punk Rock Holiday" has a feel and a half with a singalong chorus.

Opening gambit "I Got Nothing" is as good as the anthemic songs the band's manager Mario Escovedo used to unleash in The Dragons. There's even a remake of "Slash Your Face" (one of Spin magazine's Best Punk Songs Ever) that matches, and maybe exceeds, the original.

We often stand accused of talking up much of stuff at the I-94 Bar but that's because we lean towards reviewing the stuff we love. Loud, fast and scientific. If you're of a like mind, wrap your arms around "Hypersensitive" and give it a great big kiss. - The Barman


 

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