Kerbdog: Congregation

Muscular live album from reunited Irish alt.rockers.

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Kilkenny’s Kerbdog had the misfortune to release their supposed ‘breakthrough’ album, 1997’s On The Turn, at a point where the British music industry had largely abandoned rock bands in favour of landfill Britpop.

Subsequently cited as a major influence by artists such as Biffy Clyro and Frank Turner, the band have re-formed for sporadic live appearances since 2005 as their posthumous cult appeal has broadened. Recorded at sold-out live shows in Dublin, London and Bristol in 2012, Congregation represents something of a vindication for the Irishmen, showcasing a powerful set of Sonic Youth/ Dinosaur Jr/ Helmet-influenced alternative rock which sounds all the richer for the return of original guitarist Billy Dalton, who exited during the On The Turn album sessions in LA.

That album’s three stunning hit-singles-that-should-have-been – JJ’s Song, Sally and Mexican Wave – are the highpoints in a forceful 16-song set, while the inclusion of a new studio recording, Electricity, exhumed from a 2001 demo session, offers evidence that there can be more to this reunion than simple warm-hearted nostalgia./o:p

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.