||On the Turn CD (1997) |
Although it isn't significantly different from their Therapy?-meets-Hüsker Dü debut, Kerbdog's second album On the Turn is a stronger record, primarily because the band's sound has become tougher and heavier during a year of touring. Kerbdog still has trouble coming up with memorable riffs and occasionally gets bogged down in their own murk, but On the Turn won't disappoint any of their fans. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
||Kerbdog CD (1994) |
Almost, but not quite. That's about the best reaction to give to this album, a fair effort that had its heart in the right place. Kerbdog's four members knew their way around smart, loud influences -- Big Black, Sonic Youth, and other luminaries were the beneficiaries of cover versions that appeared on B-sides and live. Jack Endino's production, meanwhile, carried all the familiar thick chunky punch one could expect from the Seattle guru. But the weird thing is that Kerbdog was actually a warm-hearted, inspiring group trying to play state-of-the-art -- but already outdated -- grunge at odds with the band's own thrashier strengths. Even the song titles -- "Dead Anyway," "Dummy Crusher," "Cleaver" -- made the group sound like a more dour experience than it really was. Consider the chorus of lead track and single "End of Green" -- the verses are noisy enough crunch and crumble that won't surprise anybody, but the choruses are something else again: peppy, heartening even, not power pop but powerful. The secret weapon is singer Cormac Battle, who sounds almost like a more immediately mainstream James Hetfield, fired up and with that sharp metal-edged bark in his voice but just that little bit calmer and winning. His ear for catchy choruses serves the band excellently throughout the album -- nearly every song shifts from an often Metallica-like riff-along main section to an instantly cooler singalong section -- and, unsurprisingly, the band's own work is equally inspired at those points. A little more exposure, and maybe a better placement of the band in the straight-up metal continuum it was much more a clearly a part of, and the group might well have filled arenas -- Lord knows Kerbdog did the job better than Bush ever did. But such is fate. ~ Ned Raggett
All songs written by Kerbdog.
Recorded at Rockfield Studios, Wales in Summer 1993.
Personnel: Cormac Battle (vocals, guitar); Billy Dalton (guitar); Darragh Butler (drums).
Audio Mixer: Jack Endino.
Photographers: Patrick Siemer; Simon Fowler .
Kerbdog: Cormac Battle (vocals, guitar), Billy Dalton (guitar), Colin Fennelly (bass), Darragh Butler (drums).