Thursday, February 17, 2011

Modern Dogs - R

Hear The Track Here

It would appear that Modern Dogs, like old ones or even rockers when it comes to that, cannot be taught new tricks. So it's probably a good job that the Modern Dogs trick is a bloody good one. However, I get ahead of myself. Speaking of John Paul Carroll (Ed: we were?) otherwise known as JPC (NZ), from one side he can also be seen to have a good trick. Put them together and you have two good tricks, and that explains the reasoning behind the change of name. 'A testpage for unmastered mixes and demos' is what the webpage promises and that's exactly what you'll find. Anyone with even a passing interest in the doings of JPC (NZ) - who btw delivered an Track Of The Year 2010 with the Tin Man Friends EP (September 2010), a great introduction into this very idiosyncratic rock musician - would be blown away by what he delivers. You may not agree with his style but by God, you can't deny the power of the music.

R could stand for Run! which could well be the underlying theme of this dark, dense little song. His songwriting has always been, in my opinion, one of his strengths and R doesn't let the side down in any way, especially if you are aware of the man's history and long involvement in Soundclick and its community. He first came to my attention as Fluidity, with a track called This Time (January 2006), which was a somewhat restrained introduction to someone who would turn in some of the most consistently good - and original - rock music over the next few years. I mention this because R has many of the hallmarks that Fluidity held, a return to the roots perhaps?

Certainly it has a lot of the same dark, dense atmosphere, the almost physical weight of the music grinding your ears to a fine powder, no doubt to be inhaled by some passing, and totally innocent, bystander. So best not to hear this is public eh? Naaah, go right ahead, although you may get a few heat-seeking stares for your trouble. The more I hear the track, the more I hear those echoes of a younger, less disciplined, musician which puts into stark relief the huge strides he has made in terms of structure, arrangement and technical ability - even on a so called demo. I like the rawness and bleakness of R and it's echoes of John Paul's past because it's like he's all growed up, kinda makes me puddle up. It isn't all plain sailing, of course, JP has reverted to type and generally mumbles the lyrics but hey, that's part of his style. The whole picture is what counts. Damn I'd like to see this with real production bones on it. Damn thing would level cities.

Heavy? **** yeah!! Highly Recommended rock.

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