Dash Rip Rock

Call of the Wild

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Call of the Wild Review

by Mark Deming

Over the course of a career that's spanned nearly 25 years, Dash Rip Rock have made it pretty danged clear that they like to party, and on 2010's Call of the Wild, they share some of what they've learned about this subject with their fans. Call of the Wild features 11 songs about the joys of sex, drugs, and rock & roll (12 if you count the fact that "Squeeze It" appears twice), from the manic boogie-til-you-puke energy of "Party 101" and the slinky funk of "Everybody's Getting' Hooked Up Tonight" to a disaster-waiting-to-happen romance with a "Meth Lab Girl" and a roll call of fun-loving reprobates in "Party Hall of Fame." Dash Rip Rock guitarist/singer Bill Davis could probably play his brand of revved-up redneck party rock in his sleep by now, but thankfully he's still finding new ways to keep his music lively, and these tunes (most written in tandem with John Preble) offer plenty of stylistic variety to keep these tales of boozing and bad judgment from getting stale. Davis' latest lineup of DRR, with Patrick Johnson on bass and Eric Padua on drums, sounds tight and musically versatile, and if the dominant theme is getting wrecked, at least "The Party's Over" shows they have the good sense to know when to call it a night and stagger home. Call of the Wild doesn't break much new ground for Dash Rip Rock, but it shows this underappreciated band is still capable of delivering tight, raunchy rock & roll of the first order, and the group is as funny and fiery as ever. Oh, and stick around after the last track for a manic and very appropriate unlisted cover.

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