Salty Dog - Every Dog Has Its Day album review

More Captain Birdseye than Sam Kydd

Cover art for Salty Dog - Every Dog Has Its Day album

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There’s much hand-wringing these days among the rock cognoscenti, who complain that there are too many bands releasing too many records. The fact that anyone can record a triple concept album in their bedroom overnight has robbed music of its cachet, they complain. There’s no quality control, just a bombardment of nonsense.

But on the other side of the coin is this, Salty Dog’s debut (and only) album, from 1990. The California band decamped to Rockfield Studios in Wales to record Every Dog with renowned producer Peter (Rush, Queensrÿche, Gary Moore) Collins. They spent more than three months making it; they would have to sell 300,000 units just to break even. Despite a degree of critical acclaim, the album peaked at a dismal No.176 in the US chart. The Dog were officially pedigree chumps.

The advent of grunge is REISSUES 96 popularly blamed, but years later, it’s clear the band weren’t up to the mark. Their gnarly blues shtick is too selfconsciously sleazy – there’s no humour or lightness of touch. Caterwauling frontman Jimmi Bleacher sounds like Bon Scott being tortured, while Pete Reveen plays guitar with the subtlety of a cop tasering a drunk in the balls.

It ain’t easy to play music this simple – or to spend so long recording it – and the Dog’s scumbag style simply doesn’t ring true on (supposedly) downand-dirty ditties such as Come Along and Where The Sun Don’t Shine. Heave Hard (She Comes Easy), meanwhile, is Zep’s In My Time Of Dying in all but name.

Geoff Barton

Geoff Barton is a British journalist who founded the heavy metal magazine Kerrang! and was an editor of Sounds music magazine. He specialised in covering rock music and helped popularise the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) after using the term for the first time (after editor Alan Lewis coined it) in the May 1979 issue of Sounds.