Eat The Low Dogs
posted on 8/2008 By:
U.S. Christmas hails from Marion, North Carolina and are on Neurot Recordings, even though their retro sound would make them sound more like a band suitable for Meteor City. There is nothing in the way of metal to be found here. What can be found is a hybrid of several 70s rock styles (The Doors, T-Rex, The Stooges) and a dash of the trippiest stoner rock one could comprehend. Early Monster Magnet or Nebula instantly come to mind. Eat the Low Dogs is a consistent and entertaining recording but there are some holes.
The main hole is the over use of rotary synth, theremin, and keyboards. The effects seem to be on every second of Eat the Low Dogs and while it's certainly appreciated on the spacier tracks like "Silent Tongue", it seems to be somewhat overused here. By the time one gets to "Gallow Humor" the quirky prog sounds almost wear out their welcome. Their only saving grace is that their not altogether out of place here, it's just a bit much.
All of that aside, Eat the Low Dogs is a gritty rock and roll record and seems to favor the sleazy glitter of the mid-70s but also appreciates the space of the spacier prog bands like Pink Floyd and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The vocals are hardly melodic, but seem to posture something resembling the discordant yelps heard early in the careers of Mick Jagger or Iggy Pop. I'm sure there are other more apparent vocal influences at work here but the authenticity of the music suggests something "classic" at play.
Musically the band drifts from the Queens of the Stone Age drive of "The Scalphunters" and "Uktena" to the psychedelic bliss of "Say Sister". Eat The Low Dogs really hits its stride in the middle portion as it is anchored by the instrumental and appropriately titled "The Lights and The Trails", in which the theremin is put to good use and the meandering clean guitars and dissonant drums belt out a solid five minute trip. U.S. Christmas does gain some points here for variation in tempo.
This is not a bad release but it didn't hit quite as hard as say, the new Farflung. With a little more instrumental diversity and a bit of development these guys could create something monumental. Eat the Low Dogs is enough to hold attention for now. A strong release from a seemingly good up and coming band.
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