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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Dog Faced Gods

Stoned Council

Review by Gary Hill

I have to make one thing perfectly clear. This review in no way supports or condones the usage of illegal substances. That said, I doubt very much that Dog Faced Gods could say the same thing. The marijuana references are all over the packaging and songs here. These guys just scream stoner. The musical style, however, is definitely not restricted by that one genre. While a lot of the songs do at least touch on stoner rock or stoner metal, there is a lot more here than just that. In fact, I would say that in many ways these guys have one of the most diverse sounds I've ever heard, and reach more deeply into more influences than anyone else. The result is an album that, while definitely not perfect, is very strong. Personally, I think they picked the wrong song to open the album with. "Desperately" simply feels rather amateurish, and it might turn off listeners before they have a chance to delve deeper. For future reference guys, start and end with strong material. If you have weaker stuff, tuck it in somewhere in the middle of the album. As the cliche goes, you may never get a second chance to make a first impression.

The music on this disc covers territory ranging from the aforementioned stoner tunes to garage band / indie sounds, classic metal, rap and even southern rock. A few songs just ooze Alice In Chains - you don't get a much more varied trick bag than that. Frankly, these guys have turned out one very cool album here, and I am interested in seeing what else they have up their sleeves.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Desoerately
This tale of unrequited love is told with music that is equal parts garage band, jam band and alternative rock. While not a bad cut, it feels a bit awkward at times, and I'd say there are better opening numbers here.
Good Life
This starts with that garage indie sound from the first cut, but quickly launches into an old school hard rocking style --one part Skynyrd and one part stoner rock. This cut would have been completely at home on a '70's rock station. It includes a screaming guitar solo.
Brings Me Down
This one seems to be pretty equally split between stoner rock and rap metal. The combination is quite effective as this song works well.
Earth Is Hell
This one is pretty much a numetal rap metal hybrid, and it's a killer cut.
Run Run
While the mix on this one is essentially the same as the last one, this one leans more heavily to the metal end. It's anthemic chorus and main riff are very catchy.
Intro
This is pretty much nothing but the sounds of someone hitting a bong.
Water Pipe Bong
A bouncy rocker with a chorus of "it's not a water pipe, it's a bong", this one definitely qualifies as stoner rock. With a rap-like vocal line, this also includes a killer metal jam.
But Me
This one comes in feeling so much like early Sabbath it's hard to comprehend, but the verse is totally rap. The chorus seems to combine the two styles.
Time Is Standing Still
The first cut on the album that doesn't really combine styles, this feels a lot like Alice In Chains. It's a strong one.
Save Me
Although similar in style to the last one, elements of rap metal and stoner metal show up in this awesome song.
Will I Ever Fit In
Another with definite Sabbath leanings, the overall texture is that of an early number from that band, but there are more Alice In Chains sounds, too.
Stand Alone
This is another hard rocking song from much the same vein as Alice in Chains. The solo on this one is very tasty and during that section it feels more like a jam/stoner song.
Simple Man
Yep, this is a cover of the Skynyrd ballad and very faithful and solid. They do rock it out a bit more and add some keys, but other than that this is pretty straightforward and reverent.
No One Left
This balladic number almost feels like Skynyrd meets Tull, mostly due to the flute.
Stand Alone (Rap Version)
The title pretty much tells it all. This is a more pure rap take on the earlier cut.
 
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