Vinyl of the Month: Dog Shredder

Brass Tactics
Bellingham, WA

(Good to Die Records)

“Brutal EP from Washington’s shred-prog-masters”

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Singer/guitarist Josh Holland wasn’t kidding when he told Performer [May 2012 issue] that his band’s new EP would be “pretty much all brutality.” Dog Shredder’s latest 12-inch consists of a trio of battle-themed mini epics – “Battle Toads,” “Battle Snake,” and “Battle 07” – each of which lives up to its title.

Kicking things off in a haze of shreddy, progtastic fury, “Battle Toads” explodes from the speakers with the ferocity of a metal album, spiked with a dose of Fragile-era Yes for good measure. The key to any record like this is the rhythm section, and it would be a crime not to mention the bombastic, yet tight, skin pounding of Noah Burns behind the kit.

The following two battle hymns continue the spirit of the opening track, but it’s not until the closing number that we get a reprieve from the bombast, just long enough to find ourselves awash in Holland’s own gloriously droning, hypnotic vocals.

Brass Tactics is a little too short, if one were forced to find a complaint, but given the generous helping of moods, textures, dynamics and tempo changes found in these 15 minutes of vinyl, it’s easy enough to pick up the needle and drop it back in the lead-in groove all night long.

Recorded and Mixed by Adam Pike at The Toadhouse, Portland, OR

Additional Recording by Paul Turpin at Champion Street Sound Studios, Bellingham, WA

Mastered by Levi Seitz at Black Belt Mastering, Seattle, WA

Manufactured by Good to Die Records

Size: 12-inch

Speed: 45 RPM

Color: Black Vinyl (one-sided)

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