by A Giant DogA Giant Dog


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Following a pair of spirited self-released outings, Austin punk outfit A Giant Dog make their Merge Records debut with Pile. With Spoon producer Mike McCarthy at the helm, the band's boozy, glammy garage punk gets a subtle studio makeover, though it would be a stretch to call the overblown crunch ripping through the speakers polished. Fronted by co-singers/songwriters and Houston natives Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen, A Giant Dog retain their knack for pairing relatable melodies with sweaty, full-bore intensity, avoiding the more predictable leather-panted rock swagger in favor of weirdo party-rock inclusiveness. Their targets are the freaks, geeks, and general outsiders, much like themselves. Pile's press release name-drops a host of colorful '70s characters like Slade, Sparks, Marc Bolan, and Alice Cooper, and as far as comparisons -- or more likely influences -- go, they're more or less on the money, albeit with more of a punk approach. Freewheeling standouts like lead single "Jizzney" and the especially glammy "& Rock & Roll" are equal parts sugar and grime and 100 percent fun. Likewise, the sizzling brass-adorned boogie rock of "King Queen" and the defiant punk of "Too Much Makeup" have hooks for days and the kind of energy that can only be summoned from the heart of the beer-soaked club scene. The album's only real dynamic shift comes near the end with the acoustic psych of the Tyrannosaurus Rex-esque "Get with You and Get High." It's a nice breather on an album that, in spite of its highlights, sticks around about three or four songs too long. A Giant Dog aren't necessarily offering anything that hasn't been done before, but Pile is definitely a fun listen with enough bright spots and kinetic energy to sustain it.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/06/2016
Label: Merge Records
UPC: 0673855056227
catalogNumber: 562
Rank: 147004

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Giant Dog   Primary Artist
Britt Daniel   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Andy Bauer   Guitar
Orville Neeley   Drums
Graham Low   Bass,Cello
Ian Johnston   Flugelhorn
Sabrina Ellis   Vocals
Andrew Cashen   Guitar,Vocals
Rachel Scherr   Violin
Amanda Gregory   Background Vocals
Leslie Matthews   Saxophone
Samuel Rives   Trumpet
Jake Knight   Piano
Amanda Rockyanne Bullwinkle   Background Vocals
Amber Cobourn   Violin
Daniel Casas   Saxophone

Technical Credits

Mike McCarthy   Producer,Engineer
Graham Low   Composer
Sabrina Ellis   Composer
Andrew Cashen   Composer,Artwork
Giant Dog   Producer
Steven Ruud   Inside Photo
Ben Tipton   Artwork

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