Deathly the Dog
Spider Bites CD-Single
Review by Kent Manthie
Deathly the Dog – This is your life! – A relatively new, up & coming band, out of Tennessee; Johnson City, TN, to be exact, DTD are a duo that shows an influence of old school hardcore as well as some anti-commercial indie rock from the 90s, i.e. Superchunk, Therapy and early Replacements (think – Sorry Ma…, Stink and at the very least Hootenanny.
At this moment in time the band gets by just fine as a duo – Samuel Bowman: vocals and guitar and his bro (?) Silas Bowman on drums. This new EP, Horsefly, will be officially released February 1, but right now, for those who want a little taste, a preview, there is, available on Bandcamp, a CD Single, for the song “Spider Bites” with the so-called “b-side” being “Bones”, both of which are fabulous tunes. The first cut, “Spider Bites” has this old school, hardcore edge to it, while “Bones” reminds me a little of the bounciness and energy of Superchunk.
But it just so happens that if you check out You Tube, you can get a preview of all 4 of the upcoming tracks from Horsefly. Songs such as “Gasmask”, a kind of post-punk/post-hardcore “bull in a china shop” kind of controlled, premeditated reckless chaos. “Gasmask”’s two-minute run-through is a joyride through punk-town, complete with blistering guitar and sneering vocals; it almost sounds as if he’s singing with a pronounced cockney accent. I like it, I like it! I also got a chance to see a video on You Tube of Deathly the Dog playing “Sinister Friend” live at a club called The Next Door. But on this live video, there’s a third “dog” in the band, like a hired-gun-bass player. I don’t think these live videos are on the new EP, but still, they provide a little more insight into DTD. Another live video I got a chance to see (also from The Next Door) was a tune called “Eat the Feed”. So, as far as previews of new material, we’ve got “Gasmask” thanks to You Tube and the 2 songs on the “Spider Bites” single – “Spider Bites” and “Bones”, which have a more refined sound, since they were done in a studio, but the only real difference is that it’s louder and clearer – the energy and raw power are still present. So, I’m only missing one song from the upcoming, Feb. 1 release.
But I’m glad I got the “Spider Bites” single – that tune really brings hardcore back to the fore, especially with the Keith Morris-style singing. “Bones” is a nihilistic rocker that pulls no punches but actually reminds me more of Superchunk and the bouncy energy they epitomized. Great stuff it is – and none of their music can even closely be thought of as “emo” (a term that I hate, especially since it’s been bandied about too much by lazy writers who like to use easy labels to pin on bands who can’t really be put in boxes). And their definitely not the awful “pop-punk” bands that are more “emo” than punk, that’s for sure.
Well, go to Bandcamp now and get yourself a copy of the “Spider Bites” single. It’ll hold you over until – well, hell, the 1st is only 2 days away, so you don’t have that long to wait. Hope you enjoy it like I did. –KM.