The Black Dog


  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The active release schedule maintained by Ken Downie, Martin Dust, and Richard Dust across 2008-2011 stalled for 2012, but it resumed in 2013. The Return Ov Bleep and series of Darkhous EPs preceded this hour-length album, titled after a synonym -- "such a great Sheffield word," as stated in the group's press missive -- for trinkets or knick-knacks. While that might signify a disjointed affair, or even a compilation of stray tracks, Tranklements is sequenced almost as fluidly as Radio Scarecrow, carried along by five more of their wild card "bolts." Considering the Black Dog's immense volume of output over the previous few years, it's remarkable that the group's attention to detail and uniquely stern sound remains. And yet, for all the output that preceded it, Tranklements isn't merely another Black Dog album. "Cult Mentality" is among their best dance tracks, brisk and dub-accented enough to pass for an early and prime Force Tracks release. The following "Hymn for SoYo" is oddly uplifting, like Urban Tribe's "Peacemakers" converted into an almost-anthem. "Internal Collapse" -- an edit of which soundtracked a startling short made by Sheffield's Shaun Bloodworth -- is as tense is it is minimal, flecked with volleyed bass thrums, slivery percussion, static, and distant drones. The closing "Spatchka" is a drum-less ambient piece that lasts seven minutes and feels many ticks shorter. Its simple, studied, and intersecting keyboard lines are evocative enough to inspire many a filmmaker.

blue highlight denotes track pick