Fireworks

Dog 'N' Style - 'Pub's Calling' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     August 22, 2017    
 
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Frustrates as much as it thrills, thanks to the erratic vocals.

This rowdy French foursome serve up a bastardised barrage of escapist Rock 'n' Roll fuelled by alcohol, testosterone and enough attitude to sink a cargo liner full of morbidly obese whales. So let go of anything resembling intellectual engagement, grab a keg of your favourite super strength brew, whack the stereo up to a level that would freak out Nigel Tufnell and let the party commence dude!

'The Best Of Me' kicks this debut off in no-nonsense fashion, its Sleazy, six-string crunch finding AC/DC and Steel Panther brawling on the Sunset Strip circa 1985. 'Pretty Fly', 'I Did Something Bad' and 'Never Trust An Asshole' are driven by super-cool riffs packed with swagger and spunk. The band certainly know how to nail an impellent groove and as an ensemble are as tight and tough as a posse of Glaswegian loan sharks. Modern melodic hooks feature alongside bursts of Heavy Metal, gang-chant backing vocals and well-phrased guitar solos that never descend into gratuitous shredding. Although the wheel remains free from any design modifications, they certainly make it roll in style, employing cocksure tempo changes and evolving instrumental passages to imbue every song with maximum propulsion.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Unfortunately, 'Pub's Calling' frustrates as much as it thrills, thanks to Greg Hal's erratic vocals. Whether dispatching a gruff, hooligan-esque bawl that's overly gnarly, or a blurry, albeit more appropriate melodious tone, his voice doesn't suit the music. He also seems to be a frustrated Death Metal growler, vomiting up brutal and inappropriate screams at random; on 'One Day' it nearly ruins a great track whilst on 'Mad Motorcycle' it's unintentionally hilarious. Combine all that with his accent and it's often tricky to decipher what he's singing and, while we're sure these tunes about night life aren't packed with socio-political poignancy, it's unclear if they possess a sense of post SP irony or if he's taking it all too seriously. Either way, it makes it harder to connect with the songs.

Singing is a very subjective thing, just look at the equally adored and abhorred vocal stylings of Axl Rose for example. With that in mind, 'Pub's Calling' will either be the mutt's nuts or a dog's dinner, depending on your ability to digest the marmite contributions of Dog 'N' Style's front-man. Oh, and the less said about the band's name the better.

Simon Ramsay

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