WHERE: Merge Records
It goes without saying that Dogs are the greatest animals in the entire world. I have a dog called Susie and despite being deaf and seemingly unaware of everything in her surroundings she’s the sweetest little nugget I’ve ever known. A Giant Dog are another dog I’ve come to known and with their new album Pile, I think I love them too. Anything that starts off with opera singers is surely going to be great.
That’s right, A Giant Dog kick off their new album with Intro, a minute of pure opera at its most unexpected. This is quickly followed up with Creep, a track that abruptly enters the listener into a world of hard rock riffs and a ton of volume thrown behind it. It’s full of layers of sound that fortunately have some stellar production which means we’re able to hear all of the guitars and the drums and the bassline – which by the way adds in a solid groove amongst the distortion.
The bass once again makes a notable performance for following track and my personal highlight Hitchhike Love. Delivering a solid riff for the intro, it soon makes way for a two guitar riff to take centre stage and deliver something that sounds straight out of The Hives’ camp. It’s awesome. This track is full of vocal harmonies, dual harmonies and a forever rocking momentum that really helps get the blood pumping. The pumping continues at this high rate thanks to the sounds of Sleep When Dead, which crashes and stamps its way into your eardrums and doesn’t even take it’s shoes off. Badass.
Sex & Drugs sees A Giant Dog up the variety levels with the inclusion of a fast paced piano riff slathered upon the guitars and drums to add a rather nice upbeat vibe to the record. & Rock & Roll also sees the band shift into delivering something that’s much groovier as the riffs become a little softer against a rolling drumbeat and dual vocals that sound like they’re getting along nicely.
This uplifting sound seems to continue throughout the remainder of Pile which allows certain tracks such as King Queen to shine especially bright. This track also uses the piano to deliver another round of happiness into your ears which works nicely alongside the female vocals and the backing vocals. A Giant Dog throws a sweet surf-rock melody into the mix which blends in nicely with the rockabilly rhythm and I just love it so much. It’s so good.
Pile is a fantastic album from A Giant Dog. For a record that boasts a hard rock sound it does come with some lovely little extras too. The band’s willingness to add some additional instruments into the core formula makes for some varied listening, and the tracks that experience this experimentation benefit from it greatly. I could listen to this record for hours, it’s so good.