Rev your engines, there’s a new dog in town – American Dog. In an industry that’s been flooded with sound-alike rock bands, it’s refreshing to hear some good, old-fashioned rock and roll. American Dog delivers just that.
Some may be surprised to learn that the band has been around for quite some time. The trio formed back in 1999 and is composed of Michael Hannon on bass and vocals, Steve Theado on guitar, and Michael Harris on drums. Hannon might be recognized from the mid to late 80s band, Salty Dog, in which he also played bass and did background vocals.
Hannon’s voice has a real gritty sound, which works well for the type of music they’re producing. Poison Smile is the title of their latest album – their first since 2009. It’s full of energy, some impressive guitar work, and even a little bit of comic relief.
There are particularly nice guitar solos in the songs Old Dog, New Tricks, The Real Nitty Gritty, and Off the Chain. Halfway through the album, they take it down a few notches and mellow out with a bluesy instrumental song called 2012 A.D., which is a welcome addition.
Bathroom Romance has a real old-school feel to it, somewhat reminiscent of Faster Pussycat’s 1987 song, Bathroom Wall. They added some comedy with the sound effect of a flushing toilet bowl at the end. Another song with a comedic flare is Just Like Charlie Sheen – with a title like that, one has to expect to get a good chuckle out of it.
Other songs on the album, including the title track Poison Smile as well as the lead track Devil Dog, follow suit with the same energy and grit but some are more easily forgotten than others. Even still, as a whole, Poison Smile will appeal to a certain demographic of people and even a little bit beyond.
Although they haven’t really cracked the surface of the U.S. yet, American Dog has enjoyed great success in Europe. They’ve also played some famous biker events, such as the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, held annually during the summer in South Dakota.
While not everyone is going to love this, those looking for a change and maybe even a little throwback to the old days will. You know who you are – so grab yourself a copy of Poison Smile, crack open a beer, turn up the volume and enjoy.