Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars
Squeaking out of a rustic phonograph is Dog Fashion Disco’s opening track “Greta”. The slow big band, piano driven, number calms my nerves. Back in 2006 I thought one of my favorite bands was all but gone, never to release another beautiful sounding creature from the deep. They went out on a high note with “Adultery” and I along with many of their loyal fans believe they went out on the highest possible note. When they announced their glorious return, my excitement was quelled by the worry that they wouldn’t be able to match their magnum opus. Luckily I was wrong.
“War Party” crushes my remaining concerns as it roars out of the gate with furious anti-war/government punk lyrics and Slayer riffs. If you want to know what this band is good at, this is the song, a clear definition of circus metal. The merry-go-round tunes injected into the song project a gleeful mood to the enraged lyrics about the American war machine. “Scarlet Fever” doesn’t let up off the gas as if the band has spent the past eight years with harbored ill wills that need to be unleashed before diving into upbeat music blends with lyric’s straight from a lunatic’s dream.
Everything is not a relentless metal barrage; the title track takes on a psychedelic journey through funk, R&B and electronic blended jazz. “Tastes So Sweet” sounds like an Elton John-esque chorus wrapped around a hard rock band’s lost soul wandering through a nightmarish purgatory in the hopes of once again finding love. If that’s wasn’t enough, “Doctor’s Orders” feels like a band straight out of “Soul Train” with an apocalyptic prophecy to tell. Despite a heavy reliance on jazz throughout, the band manages to march through the musical breed’s storied history like an evil New Orleans Mardi Gras parade lightly tapping into ska and swing.
Some songs definitely have a musical theme sticking to a madman’s formula, but others seem to descend into genre chaos. “We Aren’t the World” takes listeners on a misanthropic carnival ride with no direction other than forward through a progressively bleak future focusing on overpopulation and ignorance. “Pale Horse” isn’t afraid of switching from hypnotic metal blasts to saxophones cries to epic chords straight out of a Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert to a trailing guitar lick under a mourning classical piano to…ah hell, you get the point.
The album seems to be incorporating an army of horns with a marching band of varying keyboard tones ranging from harmonious organs to reverberating xylophone keys. Todd Smith once again provides the fist-pumping choruses and catchy lyrics written like a demonic children’s book. The guitars are fast and merciless while the drumming keeps up the frantic pace. The album transitions to soulful breakdowns quite well hinting that the time off may have reinforced a goal towards quality disorder.
The members of Dog Fashion Disco have once again combined a collection of personal music tastes and warped ideas to create a fluid album that skips delightfully through every psychosis in the medical book. It’s rekindled my love for music with no rules or boundaries. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but for some, this music clicks on all the right cylinders. “Sweet Nothings” is an ominous trip through aggression, despair, love and loss, but with another album on the horizon, the future looks bright for Dog Fashion Disco.
2. War Party
3. Scarlet Fever
4. Tastes So Sweet
5. Doctor’s Orders
6. Envy the Vultures
7. Approach the Recede
8. Down the Rabbit Hole
9. We Aren’t the World
10. Struck By Lightning
11. Sweet Nothings
12. Pale Horse
13. End of the Road
14. Hidden Track (A long and big “Thank You” to every Indiegogo supporter)