Hot Day in Waco

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Hot Day in Waco Review

by Stewart Mason

Singer/songwriter Dogbowl (Stephen Tunney) was an important part of the Shimmy Disc stable, having been an important early member of King Missile before leaving to pursue a solo career. His two albums with Shimmy Disc head Kramer are entirely of a piece with his solo albums: oddly dark and occasionally disturbing lyrics set to bouncy pop tunes with psychedelic overtones. The only real difference with Kramer's full participation is that the psych quotient is ratcheted up a bit, with spooky-pretty textures familiar to fans of Bongwater and Kramer's solo material deepening the guitar pop focus of the songs. The highlight is the title track, one of Dogbowl's very finest efforts; the initially shocking and potentially tasteless central image is that a couple are watching on television the storming of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX (which had happened earlier in 1994), and equating the group's self-immolation with the impending dissolution of their own relationship. Sounds tacky, but Dogbowl handles it with so much sensitivity that the song becomes genuinely sad. Although the other nine tracks don't reach that career high-point level, this is one of Dogbowl's most consistent and enjoyable efforts.

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