The Devil Dogs

Devil Dogs

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This opening blast from garage sleaze kings the Devil Dogs provides the blueprint they would follow for the next five years, delivering raw, beer-fueled tributes to cars, girls, and straight-up rock & roll at furious speeds with maximum attitude. Recorded after a series of frustrating events led to the demise of their former band, guitarist Andy Gortler, bassist Steve Baise, and drummer Paul Corio came blazing out of the gate with a ragged, uncompromising energy that had obviously been building for a while. The band isn't as tightly streamlined here as it would be with later triumphs like We Three Kings and Saturday Night Fever, which retain the original formula but benefit from better sound and stronger playing. Despite messy sonics, the Devil Dogs were already busting out some great songs, a politically incorrect set list of raunchy, witty testosterone anthems that rock with both brains and balls. "C'mon Little Baby" is a lusty ultimatum to the girlfriend who holds out, with an irresistible refrain and a twist-worthy beat. The snarling opener, "Action," demands it, and "354" brags about "the coolest set of wheels in town" over some top-down highway-cruisin' riffs. The Dogs also take on some of their influences with real gusto but mixed results. The Dictators' classic "Stay With Me" gets a bit mangled, as does a swipe at the Ronettes' "The Best Part of Breaking Up," but an obscene reworking of "Be True to Your School" by the Beach Boys is priceless, and the DMZ rocker "Ball Me Out" was tailor-made for this drunken trio. The Devil Dogs burned out too fast, but their larger-than-life legend helped fuel a garage rock scene that grew in prominence as the '90s progressed, and it all started here with this prime slab of party-starting ramalama.

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