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
- On The Air
- Stiff Sentence
- Petaluma Riot City
- Right Where They Want Me
- New Man
- Down The Show
- Runnin' The Flatlands
- New Song/Borstal Breakout
- Guns, Drugs And Trix
- 1974 (Original Version)
- New Man (Original Version)
- Tunnel Vision
- Coaster Boy
- Security Wars/Give Me Fire
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