Album Review | Self Release | Review by Marc Higgins | Stars: 4/5
Ferocious Dog, might be a fiendishly difficulty yoga position, a lewd figure drawing in the Karma Sutra or a hipster brewery. F.D are in fact none of these things, rather they are a bloody good electric band that mixes the hi energy of English Punk with a grimy, non fey folk sensibility. Ferocious Dog have that ‘grin on the face’ musical bounce and swagger of The Levellers, or The New Model Army. Dan Booth’s lively violin and the fact that John Leonard is a one man folk band covering Mandolin, Banjo, Uilleann Pipes and Accordion, means that it’s like Dave Swarbrick formed a spirited 70s version of Fairport Convention with members of Stiff Little Fingers. “Cry Of The Celt” mixes huge electric guitar chords and that rich violin at a driving tempo. The great drum sound, massive bass and driving guitars means the track never let’s up, as Ken Bonsall passionately delivers a tale of the Celtic people. “Traitors Gate” is another powerful frenetic folk punk anthem written from the perspective of the underdog. What sets Ferocious Dog apart is they way they can flip from fury to reflective within the same song, lifting you up and down. “Cover Me” is a poem by Nick Burbridge FD turned into an anthemic song. “Cover Me” describes the journey from miner, to striking miner, to reluctant squaddie, to hunt saboteur, to protest singer living on in the song. It’s a powerful number, driving home the lifelong struggle against inequality. “Fake News” is another powerful protest with truths and dirty lies delivered in a roaring hi energy storm of a performance. Protest was never this vital and musically alive. “Lacy-Lee”, with vocals from Chantelle Barrow, is a gentler folk ballad. It’s a song about not giving up hope and never giving up, written by Dan Booth for his daughter. His vocals contrast well with Chantelle’s in the albums “Battle Of Evermore” moment and his violin is a triumph. Landscape Artist is a co-write with Jeremy Cunningham of The Levellers. It’s a surreal war cry and an anthem for the built on, smothered landscape, captured by the critical eye of the artist. Unlikely subject matter continues in “Up All Night”, when playful humour about the troublesome ageing bladder is wrapped around some disquiet about Brexit. After the furious “Up All Night”, “Justice For 96” is a powerful but poignant song for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster. “Bedlam Boys” is a raucous energetic riot, a Folk Punk take on the traditional song. Energetic and as a raw as the early 70s Steeleye Span version. The rattling roaring energy of The Pogues. “Yellow Feather” could be Ferocious Dog’s “Meet On The Ledge” or “One Day Like This.” An upbeat anthemic song with some thoughtful life lesson lyrics and a chorus that a festival crowd can roar and get moist eyed to. Underpinned by some captivating playing Ferocious Dog present a vital, hot blooded music that infuses Folk with that 80’s Peace Convoy raggle taggle Punk spark, vim and vigour. They make you think, make you look again at the ordinary and everyday with an album that makes you jump up and down, it fills you with righteous fire and leaves you on an upbeat note.