My Town

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In the mid 1980s, the Boston area produced a small handful of bands that followed in the wake of Beantown's Real Kids; rootsy bands with solid original material, playing in a no frills manner. One of the best were the Dawgs. Fronted by songwriter/singer/guitarist Phil Haynen, he was the spiritual leader, supplying the songs and the energy that fueled this scrappy little quartet. My Town was their only trip to the studio (the French New Rose version features a couple of extra studio warmups like "Route 66" as bonus cuts), but as debut album goes, it's a remarkably solid effort. Haynen's raspy voice is the featured instrument on everything here, giving detail to the garbage can drums and transistor radio sounding guitars. Except for bass player's Punk Larcom poppish vocal turn on Haynen's "Starring In My Dreams," this is one bleak album that still holds out that smidgeon of belief for the flower growing out of the pavement in the middle downtown Beantown. Hard to find in either U.S. or foreign incarnations, but a cult band well worth the search to find.