I was recently contacted by this band and asked to do a review. At the time, I was pretty busy, so it got put off until now. I’m glad I waited because, had I just done a “quickie” and listened to a couple of songs, I would have been pretty critical of this band. Instead, I’ve spent the last week or so absorbing their self-titled album and have a better perspective on them.
Their music is rock and roll, but definitely not heavy metal nor is it Elvis or The Cranberries. The closest I can compare it to is Nirvana, though they’re much more progressive than the 1990s Cobain band we all love (to hate?).
Bryce Jardine, who does the vocals, is very grunge in both subject matter and singing style. There is a small wave of current bands and up-and-comers who have the sound that Dog Tooth Violet uses, but this band is one of the few that actually pulls it off well. Most sound too sugar-poppy or a little too on the edge. Not these guys.
The guitars would have been my biggest complaint had I just given the band a once-over. They aren’t flashy at all and solos are few and far between. Given that, I can say that after a few listens, you begin to understand the nuances going on carefully in the twining of the three guitarists (guitars are Will Dean, Gaelen Olinski, and Kyle Banasiak is bass). There is more going on here than you might think and one big step away from Nirvana that this superior band makes is to clean up their sound rather than using distortion to cover up the mess.
Finally, the backdrop for all of this is Phil Chalk on drums. He uses his influence to ad or subtract sound sparingly and when the flares do come through, they’re just at the right point to emphasize either music or vocals. I would be willing to say, unequivocally, that much of this band’s talent and sound centers on that drum kit. Any band member can make or break a band, but no band can do well without a solid rhythm man and Dog Tooth Violet definitely has that.
Overall, I was impressed with this band. They aren’t playing my personal preference in music, but they are no slouches and have won me over despite that roadblock. This is a great band with a lot of potential to go far. I think they will. You can listen to their songs on Myspace and there are some (roughly done) videos on YouTube as well. Their album (self-titled) is available through most online venues including iTunes.
FCC Compliance: I was given a review copy of the band’s album, reviewed here, but no other compensation for this review. This review is a non-biased opinion based on the author’s opinion.