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Poor Dumb Bastards

Valley of the Dogs

Getting crazy with Poor Dumb Bastards' new one.
Getting crazy with Poor Dumb Bastards' new one.

Septic

After their first divorces, Dean and guitarist Mike Porterfield started PDB in 1991. Plenty of musicians have been part of the band since. The current lineup includes Dean, Porterfield, Ruben Dominguez (guitar), Bob Lederer (drums) and James McGee (bass). Whatever its incarnation, the band has one overriding constant: bile and bitterness toward women in song.

One of the better tunes on the 14-track CD (13 songs plus a hidden number), "Who You Been Fuckin'" has a taut acoustic riff, tidy drums and the oft-repeated lyric "Who have you been fuckin' / b'sides me and your wife." Fine. But then there's the song's misogynistic kicker as the track fades: "You gave me crabs, you stupid bitch."

And that's only the soft stuff.

On "Boredom," a song highlighted by its chorus (which is the title chanted several times), there's this lyric: "What's the point / I don't give a shit / I think I'm gonna cum right on your tits."

Once you get past the inexplicably foul language, which is difficult, the music is decent, although PDB has the irritating tendency to repeat the titles in its songs ad nauseam (e.g., "Boredom," "My Dad, Two Whores and a Crack Pipe" and "Who You Been Fuckin'," among others).

Musically, the band's style ranges from '80s rock to '80s punk. The from-out-of-nowhere ditties include a twangy country song, "Long Night Drinking," and by far the most innovative track, the quasi-industrial "Valley of the Dogs."

"Valley of the Dogs" is built out of a synthesized backbeat and a kickin' drum and guitar bed. Dean's vocal is hushed and flowing. The track is long, an anomaly on Dogs; it goes on for about five minutes, even though it starts getting redundant about two thirds of the way through.

Most of the other selections are surprisingly short for an LP. Eight of the 13 songs last two and a half minutes or less, and three are less than two minutes. The significance? With scant lyrical depth and repetitious harmony, that's simply not enough time to build a solid song.

Dogs definitely has its problems. The sound isn't consistent (is it rock or metal or punk?). And if it's a fusion, it's not effectively done. Which isn't to say there aren't any kick-ass tunes. "Crack Pipe," "Control Freak" and "Dogs" are solid rockers. If you're already a fan of the band and its style, Dogs is worth a buy. For an experimental purchase? Nah. -- Seth Landau

 
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