Dead Dog Lie
Independent release, 1999
REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/09/1999
Every once in a while, I stumble upon the opportunity to review a new band. Sure, there are the easy ways like browsing through a site like MP3.com, but I just don't have the time or patience to look through every single listing.
One such accidental discovery came thanks to an auction I won on eBay - a four-cassette lot offered by the charmingly named Mr. Thermos. In one of his messages to me, he included a link to his band's site. I offered to review his band's disc, and he accepted.
That band, Drawing Flies, captures the best lessons learned by groups such as Metallica, Megadeth and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and throws in more than a touch of humor. C'mon, how could one resist a song that glorifies the struggles of one Wile E. Coyote?
Their CD Dead Dog Lie has many moments of such promise, including a production quality which is quite impressive, with very few drawbacks. In an age where metal is poised to make a commercial comeback, don't be surprised if you see this Boston-area band near the top of the heap.
Thermos handles the vocals and bass chores in Drawing Flies; guitarists McCarthy and White and drummer Von Hellmut (no full names are given, though I do know Thermos's real name) round out a group whose sound echoes that of classic mid-'80s metal. Thermos's bass lines remind me a lot of those of Megadeth's with their snap, while the music itself walks the line deftly between funk ("Not Like Me") and thrash ("Cockroach", "Running With Scissors").
As humorous as I can find a song like "Chin Music", you know there's going to be someone (hell- ooo, Tipper Gore) who's gonna blow a gasket at some of the commentaries. Ten words: If you don't like it, don't listen to it, okay? 'Nuff said.
Dead Dog Lie shows the band's true talents by remaining cutting edge musically. Tracks like "Fireclown," "(Good Mourning) Amerika" and "Knucklefuck" all keep the listener on their toes - and, in a sense, that's what good metal should do.
But they show their twisted sense of humor often. "a.c.m.e." is the Wile E. Coyote song previously mentioned - and every time I hear it, I can't help but laugh my ass off. (The use of cartoon sound effects is perfect, by the way.) And, if you can't help but hanker for the classics, "Clusterfuck" tries to wrap up the history of hard rock/heavy metal in under six minutes. It must be heard to be believed - and it is quite good.
Did I say something about minor potholes? Really, they're not that bad. I'd turn up the volume on Thermos's vocals a little bit, and try to enunciate a little more. But otherwise, it seems like this band is well on its way towards making a strange, little name for themselves - and I think that's just the way they'd like it to be.
Dead Dog Lie is an exciting hint at what is to come from Drawing Flies - and could well be some of the best money I spent on eBay. Chances are you'll be drawn to this disc like flies to a garbage pail - just save some room for me.