Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Dog Faced Hermans|
Dog Faced Hermans
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
The Powerful and the Strange
Wylie Pettibone | Seattle, WA | 12/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This band is a side project of the Dutch band The Ex, who came out of the '77 punk scene in Holland, and was heavily involved in the Dutch squatters movement. Anyone who has seen The Ex knows that the live show -- an energy of bumbling, sweaty, stocky men on impossibly driven guitars, a wholesome woman drummer, and a thin and frail and wily lead singer -- is not completely translated into CD. By contrast, Dog Faced Hermans, who I never saw live, managed to translate an immense sense of explosive energy, again, a strange sort of wholesomeness, and some agressive poise into what is truly an incredible album. Recorded over the summer of 1994, "Those Deep Buds" is a series of sqonking brass, eclectic drumming, Grimms-like fairytale narratives meet political protest. They are also connected to the band God is My Copilot. And the melodies are wonderful, too. Sometimes the lyrics are spoken, or free form, sometimes tight and almost traditionally sung. Buy it again, if you let it go, or buy it for the first time, and give it at least five listens before offering your stunned opinion."
For what it's worth: a true classic, but practically forgott
Scott Bresinger | New York, USA | 03/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember first hearing the Dog Faced Hermans a lllooonnnggg time ago on a local college radio station (give me a shout out for WNYU!). The song was a cover of a WWII-era Italian folk dittie called "Bella Ciao," but the Hermans played it with punky abandon, adding in trumpet, post-punk guitar scrapings and even a bit of a C&W rhythm. It was melodic, infectious and fun--but also not frivolous. Of course, this was before the internet (a.k.a. the Dark Ages) so good luck finding it. A few years later I did discover a live CD ("Bump & Swing") in a used record store (mad props to St. Mark's Sounds!) and fell in love all over again. I listened to it about a jillion times and then filed it, going back to whatever else I listened to then (there was a brief, shameful period in the late nineties when I listened to almost nothing but drum 'n' bass).
One day in late '05, thanks to the modern marvel of the internet, I found (almost by random, since I wasn't really looking) the original 7" record of "Bella Ciao" and full-blown obsession set it. There was just no way I wasn't going to get "Those Deep Buds," the band's studio swan song. My dear Amazon friends, let me make this as blunt and clear as I possibly can: YOU HAVE TO OWN "THOSE DEEP BUDS" BY THE DOG FACED HERMANS. NOW. I MEAN IT. This is not a cheap advertisement or some other trick, and I don't mean any hyperbole. Since I can sense your skepticism (indeed, I admire it!) let me convince you.
Emotional but never sentimental, politically-charged yet never strident, "Those Deep Buds" is the band's signature blend of post-punk, no wave, free jazz and tribal rhythms. Vocalist Marion Coutts never overdoes it, and in fact is a pretty flat singer, but in true punk fashion she's all the better for it, since true passion trumps technical acuity every time. Guitarist Andy Moor, moonlighting from the Ex, can create an unholy racket or bell-like chimes, which of course is deeply influenced by Sonic Youth (if you are now, or have ever been, an SY fan, this album will make your heart sing), but also such notables as the Fall and Gang Of Four (the song "Human Spark" could be a GOF song, but even better). The trumpet (also by Ms. Coutts) has the spirit of Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman (check out "Lie And Swell") even though they both played sax. As for lyrics, how about these, from "Volkswagon": "...the VW corporate logo/ hangs so luminous and/ dominant above the town/ that it is mistaken for the moon." Other songs, like the pro-choice anthem "Keep your laws/off my body" and "Calley," about the American soldier who oversaw the infamous My Lai massacre, are both outraged and emotionally affecting.
I don't know if I'm even capable of convincing you further, since I can't physically force you to listen to it (one of the disadvantages of the internet), so I'll just have to ask for your trust, and after all, what other useless junk were you going to spend the money on? Food?
(p.s.: although, as you can probably tell, the album is physically out of print--a travesty--it can be downloaded from a popular--and yes, legal--site dedicated to artists on independent labels. I won't mention which one, but if you combine the letter "e" with the word "music," you're almost there. Happy hunting!)"
Z. Sitter | Cincinnati, OH | 02/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was the Hermans' last album; I'm totally convinced it's their best. The contrast between the discombobulated rhythm section (guitar is used almost entirely as a rhythm instrument) and the pristine singsong of the vocals is more effective here than on their earlier releases, and the trumpet parts take it right over the top. "Virginia Fur" is one of the most beautiful things ever to wear the label of "pop music" (and they win for using Angela Carter's writing for lyrics!). Politics and aesthetics have never blended so powerfully."