Almost, but not quite. That's about the best reaction to give to this album, a fair effort that had its heart in the right place. Kerbdog's four members knew their way around smart, loud influences -- Big Black, Sonic Youth, and other luminaries were the beneficiaries of cover versions that appeared on B-sides and live. Jack Endino's production, meanwhile, carried all the familiar thick chunky punch one could expect from the Seattle guru. But the weird thing is that Kerbdog was actually a warm-hearted, inspiring group trying to play state-of-the-art -- but already outdated -- grunge at odds with the band's own thrashier strengths. Even the song titles -- "Dead Anyway," "Dummy Crusher," "Cleaver" -- made the group sound like a more dour experience than it really was. Consider the chorus of lead track and single "End of Green" -- the verses are noisy enough crunch and crumble that won't surprise anybody, but the choruses are something else again: peppy, heartening even, not power pop but powerful. The secret weapon is singer Cormac Battle, who sounds almost like a more immediately mainstream James Hetfield, fired up and with that sharp metal-edged bark in his voice but just that little bit calmer and winning. His ear for catchy choruses serves the band excellently throughout the album -- nearly every song shifts from an often Metallica-like riff-along main section to an instantly cooler singalong section -- and, unsurprisingly, the band's own work is equally inspired at those points. A little more exposure, and maybe a better placement of the band in the straight-up metal continuum it was much more a clearly a part of, and the group might well have filled arenas -- Lord knows Kerbdog did the job better than Bush ever did. But such is fate.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett