Formed in 2003 by Johnny Cooke (vocals), Rikki Mehta (guitar), Luciano Vargas (guitar/vocals), Duncan Timms (bass) and Rich Mitchell (drums), the Dogs tapped into the growing public fervour for new UK rock bands in the mid-00s. The quintet gained rather clichéd comparisons to Razorlight by virtue of sharing the same manager, but in truth rocked harder than their erstwhile compatriots with a sound that drew on the early Clash in its barely controlled fury. The band’s frantic live performances made an immediate impact on the London indie circuit and, scarcely a year after forming, were being championed in the UK music press. The thrilling limited edition double a-side ‘London Bridge’/‘End Of An Era’ heralded the Dogs’ arrival in autumn 2004. Extensive radio play for the single helped up the band’s profile considerably, and after being courted by the major labels the quintet signed a recording contract with Island Records and decamped to the Sawmills Studio in Cornwall to begin work on their debut album. Their first Island single, ‘She’s Got A Reason’, was released at the start of 2005 and attracted more critical plaudits. Further singles, ‘Tuned To A Different Station’ and ‘Selfish Ways’, set the scene for the autumn release of the Dogs’ debut, Turn Against This Land. The album lived up to the hype generated by the singles and, more importantly, managed to capture on record the energy of the band’s live shows.
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