Straight out of the nuclear wastes barrels American Dog’s latest alcohol fueled opus called simply MEAN. American Dog has come to represent blues based beer fueled hard rock at its blue collar best. With a swagger that comes from copious amounts of Bud and a sound that is part AC/DC, part southern blues rounded out with part jackhammer, American Dog has stayed true to its vision of creating some of the best straight ahead bluesy hard rock being produced today. They play it loose, fast and with little concern for niceties. No compromises and always with their tongues firmly in cheek.
“Just One More” kicks off the disc with trademark American Dog intensity. As always the lyrics are based on, what else, drinking. Drinking has been the constant in the bands arsenal from day one. In this song guitarist Steve Theado rips off one of the best solos that I have have heard on an American Dog record. It’s not hard to tell that the band’s head is in the game early on this disc. The title track “Mean” is as heavy as fuck. It is slow, plodding and bottom heavy but meanders along in the best headbanging way possible. It’s one of those songs that I love on a CD because it changes up the tempo of the disc and gives the other material a chance to breath. One of the more interesting song choices for the disc is a cover of the Blue Oyster Cult cut “This Ain’t the Summer of Love”. It is an interesting choice but American Dog pulls it off in grand fashion making it their own and just nailing it.
Michael Hannon (bass, vocals), Steve Theados (guitar) and Keith Picken (drums) have a very clear idea of what the American Dog sound is and they don’t stray too far from that formula. There are always interesting twists thrown in for good measure but for the most part the boys stay true to their vision. Maybe it’s the beer, I don’t know. One thing is for certain, American Dog shows no signs of putting away the kegs anytime soon. Viva la Lager!!!
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