DOGPOUND – The Hellbum

DOGPOUND - The Hellbum


Lion Music
Release date: November 11, 2003

User Review
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“It’s a time of madness, it’s proven to us every day … it’s the end of our days.” Ahhh, nothing like an upbeat “end of the world song” to start a CD off with. And that is exactly what Dogpound does on their debut release, The Hellbum. It is almost funny how downright happy this song is, whether they want it to be or not. This is the first of many great songs on The Hellbum, a welcome surprise that you all need to hear.

Dogpound was formerly called Frozen Miffo, and each member of the band at that time had other priorities than the band they all played in together. Luckily, Lion Music — who is more known for progressive metal, which Dogpound isn’t — received their demo and signed them, keeping them together. You’ll have to thank them for it.

If you want to figure out their sound, mix in a little Ted Poley-era Danger Danger with D.A.D., and crank it up a notch or two. Harder guitars, faster songs, but vocally, along those Poley-lines. Just harder. But there is really no reason to label them; just listen and enjoy.

The aforementioned “End of Our Days,” has an ‘80s vibe to it. It is straight-ahead rock, with controlled vocals, chugging riffs and a smooth melody. It also has lines like, “It’s time for positive thinking: I can, yes I can!” But when they follow that by avowing that “no one’s there, no one cares, no one dares,” you see it’s not all happy-happy joy-joy.

“Bleed” is an even harder song, guitar-driven heavy and then smooth, almost like Nickelback does, except better and not contrived. In fact, just listening to the first two songs alone, you’ll begin to wonder if this is doom-metal dressed up as hard rock. What else can you think when they say, “See the damage built around the lies. Whatever happened to modern day society?”

The darkness keeps plugging away, with the songs “When the World Comes Down,” followed by “Going Down in Flames.” The thing is, if you just listen and crank it up and don’t read along with the lyrics, you are going to swear these guys are happy. “Going Down in Flames” is the harder of the two, and probably the darkest, with lyrics like “Miracles can’t save us … we’re going down in flames.”

Later on the CD, you’ll see them start to exert their sense of humor. And that’s another thing Dogpound does well (and why there was a D.A.D. reference). The song “Loser on a King’s Throne,” is just flat-out funny. This is another fast song, with great riffs that will have you smashing your head into things. Vocalist Hea has an unassuming delivery that actually packs a punch — especially when you attempt to sing along with him. He has a strong delivery, a good range, and an excellent hard rock voice. Plus, when you sing along with him and yell, “I’m a total waste of space, a loser, a disgrace,” it just FEELS right.

Thankfully, they actually turn positive on the song “Ready to Believe.” The drums are probably the best part of this song, a constant pounding, almost like an affirmation that “yeah, I’m ready to believe!” Just another gem among gems here.

Overall, the best song is “Silent Scream.” This embodies their riff-heavy guitar sound, ability to crank it up and slow it down while keeping a constant flow, and making the melodic sound hard, and vice versa. Of course, with the line,” please save me from myself,” you’ll get the desperation and the moribund again. By now, you’ll realize it’s part of their charm …

The only thing you can say is that Dogpound deserves to be heard. Live, if you are lucky, but at least on the radio, in your car, in your office, at the strip club — everywhere you frequent. Plus, the drummer also plays cowbell, so there.

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