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American Dog
Poison Smile
August 2012
Released: 2012, American Dog
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

American Dog are back with album number six and their 10th release overall. The power trio shows no sign of going to the pound as they churn out another 11 track, 40 minute slab of southern-fried, metallic Hard Rock. POISON SMILE looks and sounds mean. A nice album cover features jackals instead of dogs this time and always the production is big, brash and loud, the way a good rocking album should be.

Who says you can’t teach an old dog, new tricks? Well this old American Dog has learned (a few new) lyrical tricks as this time out the songs aren’t all about drinking. I’m a bit surprised because those songs are part of the bands trademark delivery but this time they explore a few more topics with getting all political and heavy. The humour is still in place especially on cuts like ‘Just Like Charlie Sheen’ and ‘Bathroom Romance’. This time the band throws an old Cramps song on the tail end of the disc in the form of the quite appropriate choice of ‘Does Your Pussy Do The Dog’?

Overall POISON SMILE is a little less mean, a little lighter than some of the previous efforts but no less worthy. It has a lot of boogie and sway this time around and even a tender acoustic moment on the very impressive instrumental piece 2012 A.D. It’s a melancholy piece, slow but without being a ballad or simple blues knock-off, it’s actually a highlight for me and nicely breaks up the 10 rockers. The track bleeds into the title track, a mid-pace song that shows a bit more song-writing depth than some of their more straight-ahead rockers and the vocal is mixed a little farther back, so it is little less in-your-face than other songs in their catalogue. AMERICAN DOG have expanded their style just a bit this time while keeping in the framework of the bands trademark sound. POISON SMILE is one of the more diverse (for them) albums in an enviable career as the vanguard of the hard rockin’, hard drinkin’ sound, a position once held by Little Caeser and The Four Horsemen, but now exclusively owned by American Dog.
Track Listing

1. Devil Dog
2. Just Like Charlie Sheen
3. Old Dog, New Tricks
4. The Real Nitty Gritty
5. 2012 A.D.
6. Poison Smile
7. Lust and Greed
8. Bathroom Romance
9. Splinterin' Sally
10. Off the Chain
11. Can Your Pussy Do the Dog?


Michael Hannon-Vocals, Bass
Steve Theado-Guitar
Michael Harris-Drums

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