Somehow all I have left to remember four months of my freedom is a large stack of empties, scarred knuckles and a blurry recollection of having a damn good time. So instead of trying to organize my thoughts, I think I’ll just fight fire with fire and let Dog Shredder finishing scrambling what little is left of my brain.
Dog Shredder is three piece from Bellingham, USA. Their Facebook profile lists them as “hard rock” which could very well be the biggest goddamn understatement since Taco Bell said they used %100 real beef. They are currently two albums deep, with “Brass Tactics” from April of this year drawing my attention.
Sure, if you want to grossly oversimplify things you can call them hard rock, as saying “progressive-technical-math-thrash-core” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. The sound they create is complex and grandiose, cramming epic prog melodies together with monolithic lumps of sludgy thrash.
It’s a close cousin to the sound created by Exemption, tempered with flavors of Torche style pop-sludge and seasoned with hundreds of other subtle sounds. A freight train of new wave thrash collides with waves of mathcore that spiral off into a thousand different tangents.
At points it seems like your being barraged with an unrelenting wall of sound, it’s not until you listen a little closer and wiggle your ears in the right direction that you start to pick up of the chaotic intricacies woven into each track.
“Battle Toads” opens things up with an almost straightforward musical barrage, as the aforementioned waves of mathrash do their damndest to melt your mind into a little sticky puddle. The guitar work is blistering, the percussion rock solid and the vocal score is soaring but not clean, serving only as a complement to the musical insanity.
“Battle Snake” throws everything to the wind from the get go. The influences of mathcore and thrash are clearly apparent here, with Dog Shredders immense musical capabilities on display. The opening barrage of lighting fast fret board fingering is riddled with sections of up-tempo thrash at an absolutely frantic pace.
The album is closed out with “Battle 07”, a distinctly prog track, with a synthed out organ and faded vocals. It’s not my favorite thing but after the previous insanity of the first two tracks it does a great job of drawing things together into a complete package.
To some this might just seem like gratuitous musical wankery, nothing more than a group of show-offs seeing how insane they can play. I would call those people a bunch of close minded scum-suckers because it’s shit like this that pushes boundaries and expands what we consider “listenable”.
“Brass Tactics” is $4 on Bandcamp and I highly suggest you at least give it a listen. I know not everyone enjoys this type of music but if you do, you’ll love what you find in Dog Shredder.