Who the hell are Dog Fashion Disco?

There has been a lot of talk about hype recently. Mainly from people who don’t appear to know what the word actually means, obviously, but the ongoing sneering shitstorm of cynicism that makes the internet such a routinely odious place to hang out does at least suggest that people are weary of having mediocrity shoved down their throats. I know I am, and I’m regularly involved in the shoving – albeit not as much when it comes to the latest batch of sexless, blank-eyed metalcore nerks. I tend to hide in the loo when that’s going on.

Anyway, my point is this… why doesn’t everyone just listen to Dog Fashion Disco instead? Here is a band – recently reunited after one of those curious hiatus things that are announced and then ignored by most people – that have just sold out the third of their forthcoming gigs at London’s delightfully sweaty Camden Barfly venue, and yet no-one seems to be shrieking about their brilliance from the rooftops of the rock media. But they fucking should, because Dog Fashion Disco are such a reliable antidote to identikit metal drivel that I am often driven to tears by the fact that very few people seem to know they exist.

Well, they do exist and they’re brilliant. Dog Fashion Disco first emerged in the late 90s, releasing a series of independent albums and cultivating a sizeable cult following in the US, before exploding (briefly, in truth) into the UK’s collective rock consciousness with 2000’s multi-coloured carnival of mentalism Anarchists Of Good Taste. Anyone who has spent countless hours listening to Mr. Bungle or any of Mike Patton’s more demented projects (which is most of them) will probably already know about DFD, but if not, prepare yourself! This lot are almost certainly your new favourite band. I would heartily recommend starting with Anarchists Of Good Taste, but the two albums that followed it – Committed To A Bright Future (2003) and Adultery (2006) – are equally brilliant, as is the band’s comeback album Sweet Nothings, which came out in July on Rotten Records and was roundly ignored by pretty much everyone. Except, it seems, all the people that have snapped up tickets for next weekend’s triple-gig extravaganza.

Ultimately, bands like Dog Fashion Disco will never get widespread acceptance because they neither fit into some media-created pigeonhole nor conform to contemporary expectations of what a rock or metal band should look or sound like. They’re not “cool” – whatever the bug-eyed, roaring fuck that means – and neither are they willing to play the usual, whorish media games that have become so essential for dull young metal bands to get that all-important foot in the door. What they are, however, is distinctive, daring, exciting, funny and ridiculous: qualities which may appeal only to a minority of folk, but that should always be loudly applauded by all of us who demand a little more from music than lazy box ticking and shit haircuts. Check out the brand new DFD video for Tastes So Sweet (from Sweet Nothings, natch) and then kick yourself for not buying tickets for the Barfly shows. I’ll tell you how brilliant it was afterwards, if you like.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.