American Dog – Scars n Bars – Review

americandog200American Dog

Scars-n-Bars (Outlaw)
by Craig Regala

At this time, American Dog are the finest kickass unit that’s come from the old school non-punk tradition. Forged from the ashes of the boogie scum-glam unit Salty Dog many a year ago by one Michael Hannon, American Dog has persevered. Raised on the same roots as AC/DC, Motörhead, and Rose Tattoo, these guys belong on rock’s Mt. Rushmore with those legends. To scoff at this is to be involved in some sorta self-hatred toward regular American folks, or perhaps residual fear of the high school hesher blasting Foghat and Guns N’ Roses? The guys who built the fence around your pool can’t possibly be as cool as someone on another continent you’ve seen on TV, right?

Funny thing is, as rockers from the “alt. rock/punk-rock” side learned their instruments, they’ve come to sounding a whole lot like what the Dog does. Try to rationalize that this disc isn’t much, much closer to what The Hellacopters and Supersuckers wing in the temple of cool sounds like than a thousand failed punk bands that’ve tried to play ball with Lemmy and Malcom. Why do you think Nashville Pussy likes to tour with ’em? Smart and wily, the tempos never outrun the riffs, the drummer has that perfect right-foot, right-hand, one-two stroke that pushes the rock steady groove supporting whatever dive-bombing guitarzan is doin’ over there while Hannon pours a whole beer in ’em with nary a drop spilt. I’m gonna lift a quote from Martin Popoff: “All those things people say about Slash or Joe Perry? Theado actually lives up to them. And, incredibly, drummer Keith Pickens manages to intensify the huge grooves of Hannon and Theado even further. He’s perfect for blazing shit-kicking metal like this.”