3 Legged Dogg

Frozen Summer

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The most exciting thing about first approaching a supergroup like 3 Legged Dogg, which features a veteran membership whose résumés list stints with the legendary likes of Dio, Rainbow, Quiet Riot, and Lynch Mob, is trying to imagine what in blazes they'll actually sound like. After all, with so many potential stylistic avenues vying for creative expression, will the band's 2006 debut, Frozen Summer, feature classic '70s hard rock and metal, dungeons and dragons-type lyrics, Sunset Strip-style glam metal fluff, what? Well, when the shiny disc finally starts to spin, one discovers that the collective creative juices of the members of 3 Legged Dogg blended into a cocktail tastes like steely, mid-paced heavy rock with an overall dark streak running through it. Solid initial offerings like the title cut and "Give and Take" boast of an epic, bluesy, post-Zeppelin feel that makes them oddly reminiscent of John Sykes' Blue Murder -- not least because of Chas West's vocal similarities to the former golden-haired guitar god (although on the power ballad "Rain on My Parade," he sounds more like a cleaned up Dee Snider!). Ironically, 3 Legged Dogg also share that band's disappointing tendency toward wallowing in turgid, lifeless blues-metal (see the dire "One Good Reason" and, to a lesser degree, "Bring the Hammer Down"), which, in the end, only serves to expose a flawed and limited creative songwriting pool at hand, sadly unequal to the technical talents of those involved. Luckily, a few more limber cuts like "Wasted Life" and "Long Way Back from Hell" show renewed vigor and pluck, yet hardly spell "welcome" to poof-haired party rockers. Those fans won't find what they are hoping for in this bunch -- they're musicians first, personalities second. Of course the latter doesn't stop one wishing that one-time Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Cavazo could make himself more visible (or audible, as it were) in these recordings, but perhaps this too is confirmation of the workmanlike, used-to-playing-second-fiddle ethos of all of those involved in 3 Legged Dogg, and their competent, personality-deprived LP.

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