Dog Heaven – There is Only… (Everything Sucks / Rad Girlfriend Records, 2021)

Apologies to Dave and all at Everything Sucks and Josh at Rad Girlfriend – this review is somewhat delayed for various of the usual reasons: lack of motivation, staring into the yawning void of existential angst, and parenting. Absolutely no change from normal, then… Anyway, fuck all that noise, let’s get on with getting back on track…

So, Dog Heaven are entirely new to me. Apparently from London (by way of Wales), so congratulations to them for being able to do something productive together like make some music; eight and a half years in that London made me constantly want to dig my own grave, climb in, and pull the earth back over myself. I suppose the constant urge to self-inter suggests it’s not for everyone…

Anyways, Dog Heaven feature the talents of Jamie Morrison (of The Arteries,Pale Angels and the excellent Loose Behaviour) and Riza Mirehsan (of Pale Angels). No doubt the other two, Billy Morris (not the guy from cock rock twerps Warrant and Quiet Riot) and Josh Ace have had previous musical endeavours, but I can’t be bothered to look them up right now.

Anyways, I’ve listened to this a bunch of times now, and I’m happy to say that it’s pretty good. I think the thing that initially appealled to me was the heavy over-tones of classic Dinosaur Jr and Dogs on Acid (a short-lived band on Jade Tree formed from the ashes of Algernon Cadwallader and Snowing). The title of Dinosaur Jr’s best of (Ear Bleeding Country) seems like a particularly fitting descriptor here: it’s loud, jangly, and full of hooky lead lines, feedback and reverb.

Delving further in, we’ve got some kind of healthy appreciation of Mark Lanegan and the Screaming Trees going on too. This is seemingly interwoven with nods to The Replacements, The Lemonheads (circa Car Button Cloth), and perhaps oddly, I’m put in mind of one of those bands I love to hate: The Strokes (but not in a shitty tinny kind of a way).

There are aspects of this record that veer into more challenging (not in a shit way) territory, though. Perhaps think along the lines of Flipper’s ‘Generic Flipper‘ meets McClusky and we’re nearly there (see Kiss Me I’m a Toad for example. I think that it’s this aspect of the writing that steers the record out of possibly forgettable “punk band plays indie rock” territory, and into “it’ll take some effort to get bored of this” territory. I mean, if you are releasing a record, you wouldn’t want it to be forgettable, right? Well, for the right reasons. There’s been some despicable bullshit down the years that I wish I could jeffing forget…

So what I’m basically trying to suggest is that if you fancy venturing into the territories in which indie rock, punk, post-grunge and off-kilter hardcore meet, this is probably worth spuffing your hard-earned on, innit. Tony of Nurgle rating: 9/10

You can get this in the UK and EU from Everything Sucks or in the US from Rad Girlfriend Records on red, black, or mystery coloured vinyl.

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