American Dog – Poison Smile

American Dog - Poison Smile

Released May 25, 2012 (Colonial Canine/Bad Reputation)

Track List:
01. Devil Dog
02. Just Like Charlie Sheen
03. Old Dog, New Tricks
04. The Real Nitty Gritty
05. 2012 A.D.
06. Poison Smile
07. Lust And Greed
08. Bathroom Romance
09. Splinterin’ Sally
10. Off The Chain
11. Can Your Pussy Do The Dog?

Michael Hannon – vocals and bass
Steve Theado – guitar and vocals
Michael ‘Hazard’ Harris – drums

Additional Musicians:
Nate Hollman – keyboards (8, 11)

Produced by Joe Viers and American Dog.

Someone call animal control, because there is a dog on the loose. According to reports in the Ohio area, the varmint in question is a cross between a ‘devil’ and ‘salty’ dog, with long straggly hair, an unquenchable thirst for cheap beer… and possibly rabid. That’s right people, the hardest working band in hard rock is back with Poison Smile — with the same piss-poor attitude and love of all things anti-commercial.

  By now we all know exactly what to expect from American Dog, and Poison Smile offers the same type of amphetamine driven hard rock that has garnered Michael Hannon and long-time cohort Steve Theado cult status among rockers who enjoy getting shit-face drunk to in-your-face heavy metal. The recipe is fairly straight-forward (and always has been), and the ass-kicking opener “Devil Dog” perfectly displays why this type of music works so well — with reckless abandon the track, along with “Lust And Greed” and “Off The Chain”, hammer home the America Dog agenda through a wall of blazing guitars and a pounding bottom end.

  American Dog display their humorous side on the lead-off single/video “Just Like Charlie Sheen”, “Bathroom Romance” and “Splinterin’ Sally” (which borrows its opening riff from Junkyard‘s “Blooze”), while “The Real Nitty Gritty” sounds like vintage ‘Dog’ circa 2000. Despite staying true to the American Dog sound, the trio do stray (ever so slightly) from their comfort zone during the sinister Alice Cooper-esque “Poison Smile” and their rendition of The Cramp‘s “Can Your Pussy Do the Dog”, which contains an ode to Ted Nugent.

  Is Poison Smile better than its predecessors Hard and Mean? Not really, but it’s no worse either… instead think of it as a continuation. The American Dog blueprint was written years ago, and while they have streamlined their sound over the course of their career, the message remains clear… get drunk, bang heads, or get the fuck out of the way. And like the song “Old Dog, New Tricks” states, “Nothin’ broken, ain’t nothin’ to fix/can’t teach an old dog new tricks” — so why change the formula now?

Reviewed by Skid for Sleaze Roxx, June 2012

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