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The Workin' Stiffs
Dog Tired...And Then Some
TKO Records


Dog Tired is The Workin’ Stiffs 1997 full-length, with an additional 6 tracks accounting for the And Then Some. The high-energy SF band combines the NY punk guitars of Richard Hell with vocals from Thatcher era British yabbos like Exploited. Dave Museloff has a tendency to emit fierce growls rather than scream, which is a welcome relief. Occasionally his vocals seem spiteful and rotten, as in Johnny. But his decrepit style owes as much to the villains created by Charles Dickens. Eric Bird pounds like a pent-up adolescent driving the band to the edge. Guitarist Mike Winter has ripping power and energy without the slightest hint of crossover metal.

The crisp delivery of "On The Air" is decidedly British. The guitars actually bring back Boy era U2, but are quickly absorbed in the bombast. This is a fine choice to replace the infuriating radio jocks they attack. The first known tribute to Springfield’s finest, "Wiggum" gives insight into the big bad man in blue’s history. Way back in grammar school, you were eating paste and playing with your stool. All the kids made fun of you. Hmm, this sounds less directed at a cartoon than a broad-based caricature of power-hungry porkers everywhere. Or is it just me? "1974" yearns for the days of unbridled innocence. The fun Black Flag sound is suddenly joined with cool roller-rink organ. I could do with more of that, what a tease. Museloff exhibits his John Lydon tongue rolls and "Drool" slips out. Bird lays plump surf beats while the traditional chorus chimes in to support the unsweetened vocals. Mundo Murguia makes an uncovered bass appearance to tow in "Petaluma Riot City." That’s funny…Petaluma! "Right Where They Want Me" is a hob-nailed gallop with inspired unintelligible chanting. The U2 guitars show up again in "New Man." As always, they are accompanied by enough snottiness to exhaust a roll of the quicker-picker-upper. "Down The Show" hits the streets with a cheerleader shout that actually sounds spontaneous. The theme is continued with "Runnin’ The Flatlands." The Stiffs change speed without abandoning energy. In fact a little breathing space allows Museloff more time to cultivate creepiness.

Cockney Rejects’ "New Song" rolls into a medley with Sham 69’s theme song "Borstal Breakout." A fun exercise, but honestly. A medley? I like it, but I’m too embarrassed to defend the reasons. "Guns, Drugs And Trix" is clever with its breakfast cereal brutality. The bass puts out an annoying clack, and I’m not sure how long it’s been there. It seems to be present in quite a few of the bonus tracks. Including, but not limited to "Tunnel Vision", an otherwise enjoyable hiccuping song of the recurring running nature. The fuzziest entry so far, "Coaster Boy" has a wider mouth, cymbal bashing and that clacking bass. Almost gargled, "Security Wars" skips along at a respectable velocity. They seem to have fixed the bass. Bird gets some nice tom patters in. Though the guitar-work is laudable, transitioning into GBH’s "Give Me Fire" is deemed unnecessary.

One a scale of TV cop haircuts: one being Banacek’s front-sweep mop, (as seen on George Clooney and The Pretender) and ten being Linc’s mod afro; Dog Tired rates a seven, Joe Mannix’ relaxed version of the McGarrett.

Ewan Wadharmi

Track Listing:

  1. On The Air
  2. Wiggum
  3. 1974
  4. Drool
  5. Stiff Sentence
  6. Petaluma Riot City
  7. Right Where They Want Me
  8. New Man
  9. Down The Show
  10. Runnin' The Flatlands
  11. New Song/Borstal Breakout
  12. Guns, Drugs And Trix
  13. 1974 (Original Version)
  14. New Man (Original Version)
  15. Tunnel Vision
  16. Coaster Boy
  17. Security Wars/Give Me Fire

 

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