Dogs The Melodies Massacre Years LP

For those unfamiliar, DOGS (always sans the “the”) were a long-running punky power pop act out of Rouen, France. They formed back in 1975 around Dominique Laboubée, the primary songwriter and only consistent member, and were active pretty much until he passed away in 2002. Over that time, they released dozens of singles and nine LPs. This album compiles their first two releases, 1977’s Charlie Was a Good Boy EP and 1978’s Go Where You Want to Go 12”, both of which were, as the title of this LP suggests, released on the independent French label Melodies Massacre. And this is clearly when the band was at its most vital. The eight tracks on this record are a raw and immediate mix of early rock’n’roll-influenced punk with just a touch of pop around the edges. It brings to mind stuff like early SAINTS, the VIBRATORS, or the HEARTBREAKERS. Honestly, the thing that this record, particularly the more up-tempo tracks, reminded me of the most is TEENGENERATE. Like, imagine if those records were a little less blown-out and slowed down just a hair, and you’re pretty close to what DOGS are laying down. I even had to check to make sure Fink and co. hadn’t actually covered these guys before. I couldn’t turn up anything, but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that they had some DOGS in them. Still, as much as I love all the fast tracks, the highlight of the record for me is the slower JOHNNY THUNDERS-meets-Pissed on Another Planet SCIENTISTS number “Go Where You Want to Go.” If for some reason you only listen to one track, make it that one! Anyway, I’ve loved so much of what Reminder puts out that it’s pretty much a guarantee at this point that I’ll recommend you pick up any of their stuff, but seriously, this is one you really shouldn’t miss.