Deathly the Dog
Talking to the TV
Self-Released EP, 2014
Review by Kent Manthie
This, the third self-released EP from Johnson City, Tennessee’s Deathly the Dog, Talking to the TV is, for me, a showcase of their increasing evolution into an indie punk band for the 21st century and I know the term “punk” has been, in the past -recent past, included, overused and almost turned into a laughable cliché, but with DTD, I’m not just blowing hot air or a lot of hype.
Talking to the TV has a lot of things going for it – the first track, “Flies” has a sound and a feel that harkens back to the Stooges at their best (Funhouse). In fact, with each track, one can hear bits and pieces of what must be influences; besides the aforementioned “Flies”, “Jawbone”, the second tune, starts off with a Sonic Youth-esque riff, that morphs into a song all their own. The other comparison I might bring up is Black Flag, which I can’t help but hear glimpses of, further into “Jawbone” Not that that is all they do. No, they take those little nuggets of influences and build a sound of their own around that starting point. On “Parasite”, the third track, they slow it down a tad, but with a gritty, nonchalantness. To round it out, “Your Crooked Face” closes out this EP, which, too, has just a little bit of a Henry Rollins-style enunciated vocals, which is not all there is, though. “Your Crooked Face” is the longest of the four tunes on here, at 4:22 and in doing so, I believe the Bowmans created their piece de resistance of the album.
If you, like I did, really like the way the songs just take on this loud, uncompromising take, you might be sad that it ends after only those four songs. But there’s always Horsefly, their previous, six-song EP, which came out early this year, in February, to be exact, which shows that DTD are hard at work, putting out more stuff quicker. They’ve also released another EP, Worm Eats Brain as well as two CD-singles: “Spider Bites” and “Broken Mind”
The songs are taut and straight-to-the-point. The music is loud, in-your-face and, reminiscent of the best of high-strung garage bands. The duo is the same here as on their previous work, Horsefly: it’s Samuel Bowman on vocals, guitar, bass, mixing as well as the guy that did the artwork; the other half is what must be his brother (cousin?) Silas Bowman, who does a bang-up job on the drums.
There are only 4 songs on Talking to the TV but they all really stand out – each has a deftly defined curvature that a true aficionado can appreciate.
If you really want to have a longer set of tunes to listen to from Deathly the Dog, I’d suggest getting a hold of all three EPs, which will constitute about an album’s worth of material. You can get to these as well as the singles, by going to http://deathlythedog.bandcamp.com/, where you can download them all – a deal at twice the price! (Seriously). If you’d like to get in touch with them or just read stuff about them, check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DeathlyTheDog.
All their stuff is a real pleasure to hear, considering all the overwrought, too clever-by-half pop bands and emo dudes out there. Hope you love what you hear… -KM.