King's X
Dogman


5.0
classic

Review

by SitarHero USER (33 Reviews)
July 20th, 2009 | 24 replies | 9,540 views


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist


1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Anyone who knows anything about King's X knows about how criminally underrated they are. Prog-rock riffing with Beatle-esque harmonies, a wonderfully emotive soul-singing frontman and perhaps the most melodically gifted guitar player in the world, all neatly wrapped in a power-trio package renowned for the excellence of their live shows sound interesting at all? King's X is the band for you.

Dogman is probably the closest that King's X came to having a hit CD seeing how it was released around the time of their now-legendary performance at Woodstock '94 where they blew practically everyone else off the stage. Of course, every band that has ever played with them will tell you that King's X constantly obliterated them, but Woodstock was easily the biggest audience they ever had while doing it, and this led to a short lived spurt of popularity for them. However, Dogman was, at the time anyway, a rather atypical record for King's X.

For one thing, it is not a happy record at all. Just take a look at the song titles; "Black The Sky", "Fool You", "Go To Hell" and so on. They even choose to cover Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression". It's hard to imagine that this is the band that just a few years earlier had released an album called Faith, Hope, Love with pretty much the entire record dedicated to those values. Maybe it had something to do with vocalist Doug Pinnick's coming out of the closet and his associated renunciation of Christianity, or their less than amicable split with their long-time manager. Whatever the case may be, King's X were not in a happy place when they wrote these songs.

The music itself is much darker than on previous albums. The prevailing moods in the music appear to be anger and melancholy. It's hard to ignore that this is, for lack of a better comparison, a grunge album. Perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise because Jeff Ament, Pearl Jam's bassist, has reputedly stated that King's X were the forefathers of grunge and their previous albums never had a shortage of heaviness. That heaviness was always counteracted by the upbeat vocal melodies and harmonies though. Not this time. Even the production is much more raw than on previous albums. The title track and "Pretend" would fit perfectly on a playlist next to Alice In Chains, while "Go To Hell" is jarring in that's it's a completely unexpected, minute-long slice of punk riffs and vocals. "Complain" is close to punk in it's raw pissed off-ness, but the band still incorporates their harmonies making it much more palateable. The band also shows a greater willingness to incorporate their groovy and funky influences as on "Shoes", "Black The Sky" and "Don't Care" where the riffs are more percussive than angular.

The album grows a bit stale in its second half which isn't as strong as the first half, except for "Complain". Also, there is less diversity and therefore interestingness in the band's sound. Doug sings lead vocals on every song the harmonies are downplayed quite a bit compared to the band's other albums. However, the album is still a gem of heavy melodic rock especially if you're into grunge and/or progressive rock.

Recommended Tracks:
Pretend
Fool You
Dogman
Cigarettes



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user ratings (90)
Chart.
4.1
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donovan909 (5)
One of hard rocks best acts in their finest hour......


Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2009



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is one of my favorite albums ever so I'm totally non-critical. Let's face it. This record is just perfect. And no the second half isn't worse than the first one.

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

sba4life
July 20th 2009



363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love Pinnick's Bass work and his vocals.
Wish these guys had a little more exposure.

SitarHero
July 21st 2009



4645 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@ greg84:

It's not like the second half of the album is weak, but it isn't as good as the first half. Every one of the first 7 songs is a standout, but on the second half I think only 2 songs are really up to the same standards. It's all relative.

random
January 31st 2010



2261 Comments


This is $3.99 at FYE. I should go get it.

random
April 3rd 2010



2261 Comments


This album rules.

MarkvandenBerg
April 8th 2010



72 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is a Fantastic album! One of my favourite bands of all time!!

Paul H.
July 3rd 2010



56 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this album is definitely a classic...another band that unfortunately never got the recognition they deserved

Jethro42
February 21st 2011



12381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bumped up to 4.5

greg84
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2011



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Excellent decision!

random
April 15th 2011



2261 Comments


Album still rules. Doug can sing like nobody's business.

Defeater
April 15th 2011



5782 Comments


He's a tormented individual, that's for sure.

pizzamachine
April 15th 2011



12571 Comments


Great band.

NodScene23
May 12th 2011



264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review. I like how you noted what Ament said about this band. In the movie Singles, when the band Citizen Dick is sitting at that table talking about their album, is Ament wearing a King's X shirt? Just might be.

Detritivore
January 26th 2012



270 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album - I've never listen this guys before. The vocals are great and the tunes too, nevertheless the album has a mix of strong and weak songs.

SitarHero
January 30th 2012



4645 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Even the weaker songs are only weaker by comparison for the most part. If you're into the band's heavier side check out their self-titled album too and "Gretchen Goes to Nebraska".

Parallels
May 22nd 2012



6641 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Shoes is pretty catchy

Jethro42
May 22nd 2012



12381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Human Behavior and Pillow are my perso favs

SitarHero
May 23rd 2013



4645 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Pretend and Complain are among my most played songs on iTunes.

OmairSh
June 17th 2013



10829 Comments


Pretend is amazing

Digging: Paco de Lucia - El Duende Flamenco

SitarHero
June 17th 2013



4645 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of my favourite songs of all time.



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