Review Summary: The Dogbones add elements of grunge and punk rock onto the familiar sound of Queenadreena and create a very catchy and solid record.
If you're not yet familiar with The Dogbones, they are a five-piece rock group from London who formed in late 2007. The more interesting aspect of this band is however that they pretty much rose from the ashes of "Queenadreena" and "Daisy Chainsaw". All members except the drummer Joao Pires have at some point played in one or both of the bands. This time the notorious guitarist Crispin Gray returns with his signature sound and the previous bass player of "Queenadreena", Nomi Leonard is now the vocalist of this band. Their self-titled full-length was released October 2010 and comes in a about 40 minutes in total.
The album starts off with the opening number "The Whole World is Weird" which is one of the two singles of this record. It's not the most energetic start but it's a solid song nontheless. Something that is worth mentioning is that the band has two drummers; this has been done by other bands like "Kylesa" and is not really there for a technical aspect. It is there to create a "wider" sound and it does work quite well here. Nomi who is probably the most surprising thing with this band has really bloomed as a singer. The vocals here are very smooth and she does a really solid job with the hook "The Whole World is weird, Not Just You" which is maybe not the most catchy thing in the world.
Next is "All your friends (are going to kill you)" which is the second single. It instantly hits you with Gray's dirty "straight to the point" guitar riffs which he always manages to do a great job with. This track comparing with the rest of the album really gives off a big punk vibe and may confuse the listener to think this is a punk album. It is not, but that being said it does have a big influence from old school punk rock, both sound-wise and lyrically.
Nomi's vocals on here are more shouty and agressive, it would seem like Katie Jane Garside passed on her soul to Nomi before disappearing because she has definitely inherited her eccentric presence as well as the powerful stage performance. Speaking of vocals, Crispin does do much more backup on here then I've ever heard him do before (With tracks like "Give me Alcohol). It's nothing spectacular but it does add that bit of extra to the song which is always appreciated.
The album continues with the track "Never Gonna get Us" which sound more like rock than punk. It is a very simplistic song with pretty much the same riffs and repeating lyrics going on throughout the whole track, you will pretty much get the same deal with the third song "Hey Chihuahua". I think the songs being simplistic are not from laziness though, but are written that way intentionally. In any case they are damn catchy and will stick in your head for sure.
"Sell Your Soul" is one of the best tracks on the record and gives off a huge vibe from Queenadreena's earlier records like "Drink Me", especially with the use of the xylophone on here.
Something that was a bit unexpected from this album is the heavy grunge inspirations with tracks like "It Was a Lie" and "This Particular Hole" which give off a huge Nirvana vibe. While Nomi's more punk-ish vocals are good, she really shines through with her more soft-spoken vocals on songs like these. It's a bit hard to pin point the style this band has with all these elements thrown in. It doesn't end up in a mess however, but I don't think they have yet found their "signature" sound, at least not with this record.
The production on "The Dogbones" is solid, it's nothing out of the ordinary and it does fit the style of the band well. I think since the members have previously worked together, they should be quite familiar with the production they want to have.
"The Dogbones" is an interesting record to say the least, the essence of "Queenadreena" still lingers in the air but new elements from grunge and punk rock are added in. It is definitely a catchy record that will bring you back for multiple listens. The songs are simple and short, but effective. The band seems to head in a good direction and I'm interested in hearing more from them.