AMERICAN DOG – Unfinished Business (Album Review)

Some release announcements are filled with anticipation. Excitement. Apprehension. And some just plain make you happy. That’s the case with me and Unfinished Business from American Dog.

I hold American Dog close to my heart. We all have those bands. I joined Decibel Geek in August of 2012. And my third written article, all in my first week, was based on the podcast topic of threesomes, bands with three members. I was so happy to tell the world (if anyone was reading) about this great band I’d discovered. My article included an interview with American Dog‘s Michael Hannon. I took the bull by the horns and reached out through the American Dog FB page I think, showering love of the Poison Smile album and politely requesting an interview. Happily surprised Michael Hannon quickly responded in agreement. You can check it out here: This Threesome Does It Doggy Style

And so here we are five years later. Since that interview, American Dog dropped the festive Merry Christmas Asshole featuring the newly crafted title track and live performance selections in 2012. They issued Dogatized, under the banner American Dog & Fin with Waysted‘s Fin Muir on vocals in 2013. Band membership rose from a trio to a foursome with the addition of guitarist Vinnie Salvatore. Joining HannonSteve Theado (guitar) and Michael Harris (drums), Salvatore first appeared on the Neanderthal album in 2014. (Doin’ It Doggy Style Again with Neanderthal – Album Review) And other than that they faded away. Facebook pages went silent. But now the activity has begun stirring again. This double CD, Unfinished Business, marks the 20 year anniversary of American Dog. It’s available December 7, 2017, from Bad Reputation Records.

AMERICAN DOG – Unfinished Business – Disc One

Michael Hannon American DogIt’s chock full of blue-collar, working man’s drinking tunes. The first CD represents a greatest hits package featuring songs from the American Dog catalog. Arranged in chronological order, selections are included from most albums. Leading out with “Barely Half-Alive”, a rollicking barn burner from Last of a Dying Breed, the 2000 debut Dog output. Also from Last of a Dying Breed, we find “TV Disease”, “Last of a Dying Breed”, and “Drank Too Much”. From 2003’s Red, White, Black and Blue they have chosen “Shitkicker”, “Can’t Throw Stones”, “I Keep Drinkin’ (You’re Still Ugly)” and “Bullshit (Goddammit)” for representation. 2005’s Scars-N-Bars supplies “Workin’ Man”. From Hard (2007) there’s “Sometimes You Eat the Pussy”, “Rock-n-Roll Dog” and “Magnificent Bastard”. We get “Cat Has Got You By the Tongue” and “Just One More” off Mean (2009). My personal fave Dog album, 2012’s Poison Smile provides “Just Like Charlie Sheen” and “Bathroom Romance”. To be honest, I’m not sure about “Rock It”, it’s not on any American Dog albums I have. But “Merry Christmas Asshole” is off the 2012 compilation disc of the same name. No representation of Neanderthal or Dogatized

AMERICAN DOG – Unfinished Business – Disc Two

The real gems come in with the second disc. It launches with what I believe are two new compositions in “Unfinished Business” and “I’m Offended”. Both tracks embody everything I expect out of American Dog. Then we find a 13-song live set recorded during the Neanderthal Tour. This show held at Route 33 Rhythm and Brews, Wapakoneta, Ohio, features tracks off the albums omitted during disc one. From Neanderthal, there’s six tracks and Dogatized supplies “Boozehound”. We even get “Human Garbage Can” off the self-titled Hilljack release, the pre-cursor to American Dog. But wait, there’s more! Also found on Neanderthal is “Sun Won’t Shine”, the version offered here being recorded at soundcheck for the tour. But wait, there’s more! Two outtakes from 2001’s Six-Pack: Songs About Drinkin’ and Fuckin’ live EP.

This is a great collection for the newly introduced and longtime fans alike. Celebrate 20 years of nasty 100% kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll with American Dog! And now, with this album hopefully, we see a tour in the future, ’cause I’d love to catch American Dog live!

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