Blind Dog

Captain Dog Rides Again

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Blind Dog's 2001 debut was a solid if unspectacular set, stumbling at times on clunky arrangements and odd lyric choices which, while hardly condemning it altogether, certainly contributed to undermine its overall cohesiveness. No such problems are capable of derailing their much improved sophomore set, however, as 2003's Captain Dog Rides Again displays much progress and a wealth of experimentation while remaining true to the group's original sound. The ambivalently named opener, "Don't Ask Me Where I Stand," is anything but: re-stating the band's post-stoner rock mission statement with the help of bassist/vocalist Tobias Nilsson's gruff shouting. He's also capable of actual singing (how about that?), but, for all of their added diversity, songs like "Sellable," and the meandering pseudo-soul ballad "Follow the Fools" -- which, frankly is waaay overcooked -- rarely erupt into anything truly intimidating. Instead, it's when Blind Dog lock into a ferocious groove and don't let go (see the no-fuss charge of "Iron Cage," or the wonderfully-named "There Must Be Better Ways of Losing Your Mind") that they really find their stride. The hypnotizing riffage of "Would I make You Believe" makes the mandatory nod to the genre's stylistic gurus, Kyuss, but Captain Dog Rides Again avoids the worshipful repetition of said band that has sunk so many other bands in the past, while also referencing Kiss and Soundgarden for variety's sake on tracks like "Back Off" and "Be the Same." And finally, the band uncorks one absolute winner with the remarkably catchy, organ-enhanced "Let it Go," making this record a sleeper, but a keeper.

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