Beware the CD Reviews of March
From "Lower Leg" [see below] the first song off their second
album, you might think Britain's Wetdog are trying to pick
up where Switzerland's Kleenex/LiLiPUT left off in 1983.
On that track, in which tribal rhythms meet call-and-response
vocals, you can also hear the Slits and the Raincoats (and on their
MySpace Page, I spotted a picture of head Slit Ari Up, indicating
that they're either fans, former bill-mates, or both). As compel-
ling as those reference points may be, you could always listen
to the original artists to scratch the same post-punk itch.
Fortunately, Wetdog reveals their own unique personality
as this tinny 14-track disc continues to spin—not that "Low-
er Leg" isn't a completely persuasive song (it is!). The more
you listen, the harder their rickety ruckus becomes to de-
scribe. On some numbers, they make a noirish noise; on
others, they're all sunshine and sweet harmonies. On
"Snapper," they come on like a lounge band in space.
Short on years, long on ideas, the trio appears to be trying
things out; seeing what sticks and what doesn't, which means
that "Frauhaus!" isn't as cohesive as the Vivian Girls debut,
another reference point, but it's just as appealing for those
who like their girl group sounds with some extra kick.
All Leather, When I Grow Up, I
Wanna Fuck Like a Girl, Dim Mak
More irony, more distortion, more annoying tones.
-- band press notes
From the title, you'd expect loud and irritating. On their fol-
low-up to Hung like a Horse—yes, that was fun to type—
All Leather delivers volume and attitude, but it's hard to
tell what they're going on about. Songs include "I Do it with
My Prick Out" and "Babe, Does This Band Make My Butt
Look Big," but as in the works of Locust and early Minis-
try, the noise rolls right over the vocals. It does little for
me, but your mileage may vary. If anything, they're
less irritating than expected...for what that's worth.
The River Raid, In a Forest,
Sunset/Above the Sky [4/6/10]
On the successor to their self-titled debut, this three-guitar Bra-
zilian quartet offers generic modern rock that's virtually indis-
tinguishable from the UK/US variant (especially Oasis). That
doesn't make it bad—but I've heard it before. So have you.
Click here to play "Alright."
Endnote: For more information about Wetdog, who play
South by Southwest on 3/18, please click here or here; for
All Leather, here or here (the River Raid also play this
year's fest). Wetdog image from batteryinmycamera.