Thursday, June 19, 2008

Like Dogs - The Hit-Tooth Chronicles CD Review

Here I sit, stuck in the Minneapolis airport waiting for my flight, which has been delayed by a few hours, has switched gates once already, and I'm anticipating it changing again. Supposedly the delay is because of “air traffic”, whatever that may mean. Behind me there is some douchebag kid strumming on his guitar screwing up over and over again while a little girl is alternating between screeching and telling herself a story about the remnants of a piece of paper she tore up while maneuvering around on the floor. Occasionally it mellows out and the flight attendant comes on to tell us to hang out and that they’re sorry for the delay. It’s pretty much one big cluster-f*ck of a situation, but really it makes total sense when I remember I’m in an airport. So how does this lead-in have anything to do with the band Like Dogs? Well, let’s just say that Like Dogs are lot like the insanity of an airport -- you’ll find all kinds of nutso, crazy stuff everywhere you turn, but it’s really not that unexpected when you remember where you are.

The Hit-Tooth Chronicles oscillates between swaying funk, stripped down blast beats, odd sound effect reminiscent vocals, hip-hop bounces, twangy punk, and everything in between. Within a 7 minute span that stretches over a few songs you’ll hear the vocalist doing his best Meatwad (of Aqua Teen Hunger Force) impression, a punk hoe-down, some bass guitar theatrics, slam poetry inspired mewithoutyou oft-kilter vocals, and a sound clip from the US version of The Office where Dwight is talking about beets. It’s schizophrenia in musical form.

Unfortunately this schizophrenic approach will alienate just as many people, if not more, than it brings in. What we have is a difficult release to listen to, to say the least, but if you somehow can tune your brain into the alternate realm of obtuse zaniness that Like Dogs exists in, and write music from, you’ll see the dark brilliance that shines through from time to time. Thankfully the majority of the songs are short, sub two minute bursts of insanity that don’t exist long enough to get old. There may be a lot of gimmicks found throughout this release, but never is any one run into the ground, which would be all too easy to do when you’re writing an album of this nature.

So are you insane? If you aren’t at least a little, stray far, far away from this band, but if you have the smallest inkling to experience what it is like to be locked in a padded room bouncing off the walls, stuck in a straight jacket that’s a little too tight, then dive in to The Hit-Tooth Chronicles.

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