Released June 19, 2014 (Colonial Canine)
02. Who’s She Killing
03. Dirty Fun
04. Sun Won’t Shine
06. Stuck In The Mud
07. We Ain’t Gonna Not Get Drunk Tonight
08. Dog Eat Dog
09. Start To Bleed
10. Devil Inside
Michael Hannon – vocals and bass
Steve Theado – guitar and vocals
Vinnie Salvatore – guitar and vocals
Michael ‘Hazard’ Harris – drums
Nick Walsh – vocals
Sean Kelly – guitar
Produced by American Dog and Joe Viers.
Whoever said alcoholics are lazy and unproductive obviously never came across American Dog, the beer-chugging Ohio rockers who have proved to be one of the most prolific groups in recent memory. After teasing us with the now sold-out single Who’s She Killing, the guys are back with their… hmmm, hell if I can remember how many studio albums they have delivered to date, but it’s a lot. The latest, Neanderthal, is perfectly titled, as I’ve always felt American Dog were the hard rock equivalent of a caveman killing mammoths for sustenance and clubbing women for ‘romance’.
For the first time in their career American Dog have branched into a four piece, with the addition of second guitarist and former member of The Godz Vinnie Salvatore. However by now American Dog has become a fairly streamlined machine, which leads me to think the second guitarist will be more noticeable in a live setting then it is on disc. When it comes to the music though, not much has changed since their last couple albums as the band slowly drift away from alcohol being the focal point (or only point as proved on some of their earliest releases) and venture into darker leaning lyrical content. “Carnivore” for instance is as sinister as its title would suggest while containing the scorching guitar work and throbbing bass that American Dog is noted for — and the single “Who’s She Killing” follows in the same vein.
“Sun Won’t Shine” shows a new side of American Dog — it’s a macabre tale that slowly eases into a furious romp of death and destruction. At over seven minutes it is an epic number that stands apart from most songs in the band’s ever growing catalogue. “Stuck In The Mud” reminds me of the band’s earliest days, and it shows how much they have evolved over the years — for the better I must admit. A cover of Ted Nugent‘s “Dog Eat Dog” is meaner and nastier than the original and rivals it in every way. “Start To Bleed” just may be Neanderthal‘s highlight, a fast and furious track that is fleshed out with some slide guitar before the album closes with “Devil Inside”, another seven minute number that refuses to wear out its welcome.
“I am the old school, that’s all I know. I am a throwback, of that good old rock-n-roll” snarls frontman and leader Michael Hannon during “Neanderthal” and it really sums up American Dog. This is a band that was made for the stage, to travel from town to town and deliver their brand of rock to overworked men with bloodshot eyes — barbaric fans who rock hard and play even harder.
www.americandog.us – www.facebook.com/americandog.us
Reviewed by Skid for Sleaze Roxx, September 2014