|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1.5 cm|
Dog Trumpet – Antisocial Tendencies CD review by Chris Spencer
For those of you not familiar with Australian commercial pop music, Dog Trumpet is a collaboration between two members of Mental As Anything – Peter O’Doherty and Reg Mombassa – the latter these days is becoming more well known as an artist. This is their fourth album, released in 2007, and it is far removed from traditional folk music. Its sounds reflect classic 1960’s pop, particularly the psychedelic period. The overall sound has been described as whimsical, and there is a good cohesive feel to the whole album. Recorded by Peter on a vintage 16 track reel to reel tape recorder the brothers sing and play all guitars, bass, harp and keyboards with guest musicians playing cello, percussion, flute, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, tuba double bass and harmonica. The brothers (Mombassa is a pseudonym) share songwriting duties, writing 6 each, but have included a cover of the “Lili Marlene” standard, which I suspect they may have heard often in their home when growing up in New Zealand. Their vocals are not strong, but in keeping with the whole project: in fact one tends not to notice the vocal delivery when concentrating on the lyrics which are at times funny, subtle, emotional and descriptive – very likeable and easy to sing along with after a few listenings. The title track is a dig at the establishment; “Reading Comics” is about the joy comics brought to young boys; “Bloomsbury Birds” is said to be about English writer Virginia Woolf; “The Curse of the Walking Dead” discusses the plight of old lonely men, while “Lord And Lady Pumpkin” concerns the arrogance of the upper class in the UK and army generals in the USA. Bernard Zuel, reviewing the album in the Sydney Morning Herald, compared Dog Trumpet’s songs to those written by Nick Lowe or Ray Davies. I’m not sure that you’ll see the duo at any folk festivals, (they were at the Illawarra Folk Festival Ed) but if they do and you are familiar with the work of Lowe or The Kinks, you will have some idea of what to expect.
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