‘Ferocious Dog’ - straight from the heart and not for the faint hearted(July 29, 2013)
Folk punk says it all. Consider the band’s name’, Ferocious Dog leaves little room for doubt. Then again, there’s a lot to be said for removing ambiguity from the outset. And that’s what you get from Ferocious Dog’s self-titled debut album – nothing ambiguous, nothing diluted, nothing toned down - just pedal-to-the-metal, high-energy folk punk.
So what do we have here? Their guitar riffs could tear up the tarmac, bass lines drive nails through steel and withering fiddle breaks slash the air; there’s also haunting melodies and barbed lyrics that add iron and intent to their songs. You’re into it from the start with ‘The Glass’, off into an energetic step with ‘Lee’s Tune’ and rocking out with ‘On The Rocks’. The faintly plaintive opening of ‘Too Late’ gives way to a frantic percussion race and vicious fiddle attack, there’s a similar feel to the powerful ‘Lyla’, while the biting observation of ‘Freeborn John’ proves that nothing changes; well not for ordinary folk anyway. With more machine-gun percussion, searing fiddle and rabid vocals ‘Hell Hounds’ takes no prisoners, while the essence of rebellion oozes through ‘Quiet Paddy’ with a chunk of tough lyrics. These are songs that broadcast worth-hearing, tough messages, listen to ‘Criminal Justice’ juxtaposing simple string-led sections with frenetic liberation or the pointed observation of ‘Blind Leading The Blind’.
I’ll refrain from making ‘sounds like’ statements about Ferocious Dog, no doubt many will. You can make your own comparisons. However, among the well-known and not so well-known folk punk genre bands, Ferocious Dog is up there with the best of them.
Dedicated to the memory of Lee Bonsall, one of our soldiers haunted by PTSD, this is an album raging against the machine, it’s folk fighting for our rights, a whirlwind of accusation and a blunt refusal to compromise … straight from the heart and not for the faint hearted … and it’s also bloody good fun.
Take a chance, be ready to dance, find Ferocious Dog here: www.ferociousdog.co.uk
Reviewer: Tim Carroll