AMERICAN DOG - POISON SMILE

BAD REPUTATION RECORDS

 

Metal To Infinity

I’d like to raise my bucket of beer up high to the new album from American Dog, the one and only boozehounds those who deliver a wild and free, hotter than the most scorching flames of hell type of Heavy Rock and Roll music. After 5 full albums, 3 live efforts, DVD and the EP “Six Pack” (featuring nothing but songs about their favourite activity – boozing!), they’re finally back with the follow up to “Mean”, released in 2000.  

Damn right, the first time I heard American Dog I was hooked on their sound and attitude right away. Back then, singer Michael Hannon (ex-Salty Dog / Dangerous Toys), Steve Theado (guitars) and drummer Keith Pickens showed how the rock real hard – similar bands were, among other: early Rose Tattoo, AC / DC, The Godz and Ted Nugent. Throughout many years of existence, American Dog always remained the same band, actually the right spirit to me. Along with the new album “Poison Smile” comes a new drummer named Michael Harris (former skin basher of US Metal act H.A.T.E., featuring the great Greg 'Wags' Wagner as well) and I guess he also knows how the pour down a whole lotta alcohol down his throat. Certainly a prerequisite for Michael and Steve to be fully accepted within the American Dog camp. 

But all joking aside, their individual skills are very good. Michael’s throat is quite signed by booze but that’s what a band like AD requires – dirty and mean vocals but the man also handles his bass shotgun proudly. Same story to tell about guitarist Steve Theado, he also needs a few chords only to set a place on fire and I even talked about his job as a supplier of many awesome solo’s. Steve mostly plays his stuff hard and straight to the bone – no matter if it’s Metal, Hard Rock, Blues or even Punk…name it and you got it… great six string wizard! Newcomer, drummer Michael Harris – to discuss his skills I have to listen to the new American Dog album “Poison Smile”. 

Well, it’s French label Bad Reputation who released the CD in pride and glory. Good production, evocative but good looking cover art… this is what American Dog is all about! Former albums “Hard” and “Mean” were good products but not as good as the band offered their songs in the early years of existence. As for the new album, well to me they’re back with an od to the early days and with a the same feel I had on “Last Of A Dying Breed”, “Red, White, Black and Blue” and “Scars ‘N’ Bars”. Rebel minded, freebird type of fireball spitting Hard Rock/Heavy Rock ‘N Roll songs, actually perfect stuff when you’re hanging out with brothers and sisters with the intention to have a REAL ball, messing around for a while! 

First two songs on the album ‘Devil Dog’ and ‘Just Like Charlie Sheen’ to come on like an angry, foaming dog on the prowl for its prey to rip apart after all. These tracks are so damn hard and mean so the only way out is to face the real forces of American Dog and dig it no matter the cost. If you don’t – better get the hell outta here. ‘Old Dog, New Trick’ brings on a bit lowered tempo but the guitar rhythms here are fantastic – it kicks me back into the good old days of AC/DC (“Powerage”/”Let There Be Rock” era). Steve Theado in a leading role that bites! And he shines again on the unexpected instrumental composition entitled ‘2012 A.D.’ Well, it’s the first time I hear him picking strings in a way like this. Real calm and easy but fully technical what proves that he is more than just a three chord guitarist – as I told before, a very gifted musician! 

The title track offers me for the second time honestly spoken. Both Michael Hannon and Steve Theado sound unusual, different than what we are accustomed to them. I have to give these tracks a few turns more – as for now, I’ll stay in the middle. But dear brothers and sisters, ‘Lust And Greed’ comes from my speakers and of we go again in full typical American Dog style, dirty and mean. Ted Nugent fans better watch for ‘Splinterin’ Sally’ and that’s what I like…  full forced sledgehammer Hard Rock, right up in your goddamn face! And the party just going during ‘Off The Chain’, last one of “Poison Smile” is a cover song from Punk band The Cramps. Entitled ‘Can Your Pussy Do The Dog’, I’m sure everyone in AD proudly screaming out loud these words while acting for a live audience.  

And so the new American Dog album “Poison Smile” comes to and. I had a great time listening to it – actually nothing to do with Metal but still, it feels good to hear that the band hold on to their hard hitting dirty Hard Rock sound and their own way of living. Never change a winning team, right! Except for two, described by myself as unexpected tracks, “Poison Smile” brings a real energy explosion delivered through a bunch of heavy drinking cowboys from hell. Wanna set up your own party? First of all, don’t forget to order American Dog’s new album at: www.badreputation.fr  …watch their new videoclip for ‘Just Like Charlie Sheen’ HERE. 

My Points: 93 / 100 (Review by Stefan)