Reviewed: December 1, 2021
Released: July 29, 2021
Reviewer: The Elitist Metalhead
The NWOTHM is a movement that focuses on making metal music like they did in the heyday of the 80s. This is not just the music itself but the whole sound, from the music down to the production. Brazil’s Naughty Dog is my most recent NWOTHM find and they play down and dirty classic metal like we were transported back to the 80s. Vocalist Junior N.N.V. has that perfect 80s metal voice. He kind of reminds me of a cross between Zetro and Bobby Blitz with some old school David Wayne screams!! But the music is heavy metal bordering on speed metal making this a rather special sound. Their debut album, DOGS LIKE NO CLOWNS, is thirty five and a half minutes of heavy metal fury that is more fun than a bunch of clowns, which dogs seem to not like.
The music is a mixed bag of LA glam sound with a harder edge to it. The opener “Keep the Flame Burn” is the perfect example of what you’ll find on this album. The riffs, the chorus and the vocals are hair metal while the follow up, “Out of Control,” takes it in an almost speed metal direction. Much faster and laden with killer riffs and an amazing solo, the vocal approach is different as well. This is total David Wayne worship in most of this song. They actually do a fantastic job of balancing that LA glam sound with that harder edge to the point of you wishing they would have come out in the 80s. The solos trade off between right and left channels and they are quite tasty even if it’s just one guitarist. “Rachel” sounds almost like a Faster Pussycat song but I won’t hold that against them….they are so much better. It just shows how well rounded this band truly is.
The production is another point that needs to be made. This album’s sound is straight out of 1983. You can tell that this is a totally analog recording. The sound of the drums and the guitars is so spot on that you would not know upon first listen that this was a modern metal band. I’m most reminded by the guitar sound during the solos. Then there’s “Metal Hound” where vocalist Junior N.N.V. hits some seriously high notes. He has such a well rounded vocal approach. On this song there are no hair metal vocals involved but a more hard edged approach and those glass shattering screams. Same with “Colares Incident.” In fact I think some of those shrieks are a higher pitch than the previous track. Once again we have another nice solo to make sure all bases are covered.
Of all of the bands trying to bring back the 80s sound, I think that Naughty Dog does it better than anyone going right now. They create an atmosphere that can literally make you think you are listening to some classic 80s metal without being derivative or trying to hard to be retro. In fact, this band has it’s own sound and it’s own identity and that is what makes them so special. This album should be in your collection!