“Every man is an animal at times,” the hook in the first song, “Animal,” is the credo of Volume 1, the debut EP from Seattle Garage-Rock three-piece Trash Dogs. Brothers Jonny and Matt Wade have nestled themselves into a niche you’d think would abound in the hugely expansive Seattle music scene: rock and roll. Alas, with so many sub-genres, re-imaginings, and computer generated offshoots rearing their heads, it can be hard to remember our roots. There are no synths or 808’s to be found throughout Volume 1, released August 6th via Mongrel Records. It’s just good old-fashioned (if a little unpolished) rock and roll.
With the help of Keelan O’Hara on drums and Derek Fassino on bass, these guys have crafted some 90’s nostalgia rock laden with enough catchy guitar hooks and straightforward, high-energy songwriting to awaken the animal in even the most skeptical, special effect-reliant listeners. The key to their successful debut is its simplicity. Like Youth and Young Manhood-era Kings of Leon, or the eponymous Foo Fighters of the late 90’s, the Trash Dogs have gifted each song with a catchy guitar riff, a straightforward chord progression, and thoughtfully belligerent lyrics, just enough to make the listener turn up the volume and settle in.
Jonny Wade’s vocal stylings are the dominant force on the record. His voice sounds familiar. The way he drones and shapes his vowels brings to mind Erika Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards, but his lackadaisical delivery sounds more like Craig Finn of The Hold Steady. The more I tried to pin down who he reminded me of, the more I realized that this familiarity is a trick, and Wade’s use of this trick is crucial to the texture of the EP.
Volume 1 is short, on the nose, and demanding, in that it demands to be played loud. It demands that the listener go see this band live, and more than anything, clocking in at only 15 mintues, it demands Volume 2.
(Volume 1 can be purchased and streamed through https://trashdogs.bandcamp.com/ You can stream the EP below via SoundCloud.)