"some music was meant to stay underground..."

The Dogs Divine - "Size Of The Fight" (CD)

The Dogs Divine - "Size Of The Fight" CD cover image

"Size Of The Fight" track listing:

1. Dogs
2. Overnight Sensation
3. FDLF
4. Gypsy King
5. Hell Wouldn't Have Me
6. Brand New Addiction
7. One And Only
8. I'm In Love With My Car
9. Join The Crowd
10. Gussie
11. One For The Ages

Reviewed by on December 11, 2011

"Unsurprisingly, the band meshes best on tracks like 'Dogs,' 'Overnight Sensation' and 'Hell Wouldn't Have Me,' which feature heavy riffs that are entirely appropriate to Tom Hart's chosen vocal style."

When a band declares "Critics don't like us, well fuck 'em all," as The Dogs Divine do on "Dogs," the opening track of their latest album, "Size Of The Fight," it has a way of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy — an invitation to find fault. In this case, the fault lies not with the instrumentalists, who bash out an appealing brand of groovy metal that falls somewhere between Pantera and AC/DC, but in vocalist Tom Hart, whose delivery seldom changes from a gravel-throated Anselmo-ish growl, even when the music clearly calls on him to do so.

Guitarist Karl Von Heilman acquits himself particularly well on tracks like "FDLF" (which stands for "Fuck Dancing Let's Fuck") and the bottleneck blues of "Gypsy King," which let him add some slightly more soulful sounds. The acoustic instrumental "Gussie" is also a highlight, veering into the realm of country music.

Unsurprisingly, the band meshes best on tracks like "Dogs," "Overnight Sensation" and "Hell Wouldn't Have Me," which feature heavy riffs that are entirely appropriate to Tom Hart's chosen vocal style. Tracks like "One For The Ages," which go for a more straight ahead southern rock simply don't work well, with Hart's glass-gargling growl feeling entirely out of place. Worse yet, Hart simply doesn't seem to have much range, resulting in vocals that largely feel pretty much the same on a track-by-track basis.

Still, if you're a fan of groovy guitars and southern metal sounds, "Size Of The Fight" will have plenty for you to love — if you can get past the vocal delivery.

Highs: "Dogs," "Gussie" and "FDLF"

Lows: Tom Hart's vocals on the quieter tracks are jarring.

Bottom line: A nice hard-rocker laced with southern sounds, but marred by some sub-par vocals.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)