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Review Of "Blind Dog Rides Again" By Blind Dog

Updated on January 10, 2017

In the early 90s, as the Seattle “Grunge” scene was ascendant, there was another band emerging out of Bakersfield California, which was going in parallel lines. Like its peers 1,500 miles to the North, its sound combined heaviness with melody. The band in question was named Kyuss, and the melodic yet heavy sound it crafted came to be known as “Desert Rock.”

Though Kyuss never achieved more than cult status in the United States, the seeds of its influence found fertile soil in Scandinavia, where many a band was spawned in its wake, one of which was the mighty Blind Dog.

On its record, Blind Dog Rides Again, the band lets loose with a tour de force of melodic yet heavy riffs, which can be heard on the initial track Don't Ask Me Where I Stand. A song about being caught in the No Man's Land of the Culture Wars, it features a behemoth, single-note riff, which would put the riffing of most Nu-Metal bands to shame.

Like a truck-driver, jacked-up on Walter White's meth, barreling down the highway at 100 MPH in an eighteen-wheeler, the song Iron Cage kicks it up a notch and goes into manic overdrive. Fans of Queens Of The Stone Age should find this tune quite the delightful ride.

Slightly more smoky and atmospheric than the first two songs, Let It Go features great bass-work on the part of Tobias Nilsson. Nilsson, who also sings lead vocals, does a masterful job on the track of showing the softer side of his voice. This would have been a great song to play on an episode of The X-Files during one of Mulder's pensive moments.

Picking up where the first two tracks left off, Would I Make You Believe continues the onslaught of heaviness. Like a monster smashing its way out of a building, pummeling riffs set to a relentless groove careen this way and that. This track, like so many on this album, is damning evidence that the assertion “Rock is dead” is 100% wrong.

The next track (and this reviewer's favorite) is the song Follow The Fools. Reverting to his sprightlier, mellower vocal style, the tune Nilsson sings to is a Jethro Tull-like gem. This is one thing that amazes me about Blind Dog and many of its Post Commercial peers (Animalcule, The Want, Witchcraft etc.): how they all are able to play songs influenced by the AOR Era with such an authentic feel.

The sixth track Back Off has a swinging triplet-feel reminiscent of songs like Hole In The Sky by Black Sabbath. Especially impressive is the band's use of electric-piano, drenched in tremolo, to create a dreamy atmosphere for the second part of the song.

The next track Fading Memories shows what bands like Blind Dog do best: laying down incisive, infectious grooves and riffs. One would think, after sixty years of Rock, all the great riffs would have been played already; yet Blind Dog, like so many of its peers in the Post Commercial Era, prove that notion wrong time and again. Especially delightful is the second part of the song with its Sabbath-like, double-time riff.

The eight track is the savage boogie Unsellable. Those, who like the Groove Metal of Pantera would be well to check this song out.

Next comes There Must Be Better Ways Of Losing Your Mind. Something of a climax to the album, the riffs are just as dramatic as the existential pain the lyrics deal with.

Lastly, as a sort of epilogue, comes the track Be The Same. A song about how we are all eventually ground down by conformity, its subdued better-sweet feel makes it the perfect soundtrack for Blind Dog to ride off in the sunset.

I started this blog to rescue great records like this from being consumed by the fires of obscurity. The Rock public can go one step further by putting out those fires altogether.

Now keep calm and buy vinyl.

"Follow The Fools" by Blind Dog


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