Ken Cormier

God Damn Doghouse

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Michigan native Ken Cormier started recording the music for God Damn Doghouse in 1992 and didn't finish until 1995. Maybe it is the long recording time, but this album is a bizarre mix of genres that never really sticks to anything in particular, but succeeds for that very reason. From swaggering folk-rock to psychedelic pop, from lumbering hip-hop experiments to driving alternative rock, Cormier tries everything on this collection. Like anything put together like this, some things work and some things don't. But the reason why the album works more often than not is the charismatic personality of Cormier. "Neighbor's Brain" might be the most likable song on the album; with its dryly funny lyrics and irresistible hooks, it is a tour de force of home recording. "Stab" is a wonderfully trippy folk-rap that leads into "Brother Robert," a lo-fi cousin to Negativland's "Nesbitt's Lime Soda Song." "Raul's Birthday Day" is a creepy/funny tribute to a friend ("drive carefully, drive drunk/no, wait don't drive drunk"), while "Everything I Need" is a gorgeous slab of college rock that sticks out like a rusty nail amongst the trippy joke songs. This is a mixed bag, but it is an incredibly entertaining mixed bag that shows how good homemade indie rock can be.

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