Dog and Big Neck Police are two dark and sinister bands, so it’s fitting that the pair have just released an extremely dark and sinister split, out digitally for now and eventually on a tape. Both of these bands push into territory where dissonance takes precedence over all, and jagged structures take hold of jagged worlds.
“Oh Easy does it!” sings Paco Cathcart with an agonizing wail on “On the Stairs”, the opening track to the Big Neck side, as if he’s trying to cap a lid on something that is completely out of his or anyone else’s control. There are points when Big Neck contain themselves, but when they do stray from the jagged rhythms and angular back-and-forth half-melodies, they’re always quick to return. There’s an inherent connection between the guys in this band and it comes through in their recordings. They throw us bits of their humanity wherever they can, always reminding us of the three beings behind the instruments. Closing track “I’m Gonna Be on Television” is a testament to this. Paco and bassist Mac Kelly’s vocals mirror each other disproportionally in this drunken slow jam, adding to this tittering see-saw feel that the trio embraces. It’s a song about a man who goes to see Dr. Phil: “I’m gonna be on television…everyone will see me…get cured by a celebrity…he will make it all better,” Paco whines sarcastically, in disbelief that going to someone like Dr. Phil to fix our problems could actually be a real thing that happens.
Dog, as I’ve mentioned before, are a bunch of cyborgs playing alien music from some intergalactic hell. They’re also one of the most fun bands to write about, because their music calls forward so many images. Nothing about Dog sounds human, and while Big Neck preserves the fucked up side of humanity, Dog strays away from anything remotely earth-like. Managing to find catchy rhythms every time, somehow always finding a groove behind the dirge of distorted melodies and vocals, Dog bends expectations for how appealing darkness can be. I only wish they had more of a presence (hint/nudge/wink) online, but I guess we’ll just have to settle for the mystery which only adds to the “what the fuck” appeal of this band.
You can stream tracks from each side of the self-released split below.