Dogs At Bay features twelve tracks that are driven by a perpetually chugging rhythm section and straight down the line lyrics. Peppered with expressions indigenous to our country and singing in our distinct accent, this is an album that is has a very homegrown feel to it, an attribute not always evident among local acts.
‘New Boys‘ kicks things off, driven predominantly by bass and drums till the meat of the guitar kicks in for the chunky chorus. When Ben Marwe sings “the money will roll right in and the guitars will roll on” we believe him. The Aussie flavour is unmistakable in the humourously titled ‘Bogan Pride‘. Here it is James Bartold’s melodic drive on the four string that steals the show, although the repeated refrain of “big muscles pumping out my sweat shirt” does not fail to amuse. Elsewhere in ‘Hiding To Nothing‘ references to pokies and “pissing up against the wall” again nod towards some of the less attractive aspects of the sunburnt country.
Single ‘My Only Friend‘ is one of the more poppier tracks, a strummed verse and explosive chorus bringing to mind Nirvana. The title and lyrical content are likely inspired by God‘s ‘My Pal‘, a song covered by the band in their cracking live shows. ‘Naden‘ is another stand out number with the repeated “I can’t wait to be alone” line lodging itself inside your head for days. Ode to the roadtrip ‘Hume‘ then gives lead guitarist Alex Cameron room to shine in one of the records cruisier moments.
Whilst ‘Dogs At Bay‘ by no means reinvents the wheel, it’s integrity gives it an edge over a lot of other acts plying the rock n roll trade. As good as this album is, they really hit their stride on stage and armed with such a strong debut release it should be a case of onward and upwards for Bad//Dreems.