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Black Dog Prowl - Fine Lousy State

Black Dog Prowl
Fine Lousy State
by Sean McGuirk at 28 December 2018, 11:49 PM

BLACK DOG PROWL, from Washington, DC, plays a brand of modern bluesy bar-rock that is tinged with alternative influence from bands like SOUNDGARDEN, LIVE and ALICE IN CHAINS, with a bloodline that seems to run through to the Glam Metal period of the late 1980's. They've released a new five-song EP titled, "Fine Lousy State", showcasing their style of head-on rock-and-roll for the inebriated set.

As the opening track, "The Hill You Die On", comes on, we are transported to a time cruising down Daniel Webster Highway toward the mall with a Mountain Dew and bag of Doritos talking about what girls we think are hot in biology class. Or maybe that's just me. Yes, it reckons a time in my High School days when hormones raged and GODSMACK and TOOL were in heavy rotation on the local radio station.  Full of down-tuned teenage angst, it charts a direct course of simplified jock rock that runs through the EP's 30+ minutes.

Utilizing a generic "speeding car" riff and basic song structure, "Fine Lines (Far Cry)" could be at home as "the fast song" on any alt-rock album from 1995. The next track, "State Radio", has a distinct STONE TEMPLE PILOTS plays Gary Glitter vibe, with an over-compressed fuzz guitar and a timely suspended chord in its chorus that qualifies it as one of the stronger tunes on the album. "Days Go By" is the requisite ballad, with an interesting mix of Peter Gabriel and Dave Matthews coming through in Josh Finver's vocals, kind of like an 80's-meets-90's MTV Unplugged High School slow dance tune that meanders, but has enough interesting acoustic flavoring to not fall flat. The highlight song on the album, "Salt The Earth", is a CHEVELLE-type melodic banger, a brand that seems to come most natural for the band.

Getting by on its neat production and several earworm riffs that are catchy in a "bore a hole in your brain" kind of way, the band has recorded a solid set of songs here. Finver doesn't quite have the natural ability of a Scott Weiland, or Scott Stapp even, but does a decent job making the songs come to life. The rest of the band holds up perfectly well, with a clear and precise low-end and guitars that succeed in nailing a variety of tones throughout the short runtime.

You get the feeling that BLACK DOG PROWL may have started as a cover band as "Fine Lousy State" sounds something more akin to a "greatest alternative hits of the 90's" than a set of true originals. The talent and dedication are certainly there and if they can succeed in breaking from that mold, we could get something worth more than just the modest cover charge.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Hill You Die On
2. Fine Lines (Far Cry)
3. State Radio
4. Days Go By
5. Salt The Earth
Lineup:
Josh Finver - Guitar, Vocals
Pablo Anton - Guitar
Seth Spaulding - Bass
Enzo Ferroggiaro - Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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