"Ignite" (Spitfire Records; 2001)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

HOTD plays hard rock in the genre of such legends as KISS, Ted Nugent, AC/DC, Van Halen and, yes, even Motorhead. You can clearly hear the influence of these bands as you listen to "Ignite." In fact, sometimes you can even hear licks and music phrases that were shamelessly lifted from those bands.

For fans of that type of music, "Ignite" is perfect. Although the musical landscape of the CD changes from song to song, the album as a whole comes off quite well. Yeah, there are a couple of slow tunes that come close to being clunkers, but they pass by painlessly enough. The highlights, however, are "Alive," which starts the CD out with a bang, "The Law," featuring guest vocalist Lemmy of Motorhead and "One More Saturday Night" the lyrics of which are surprisingly insightful.

Perhaps the best way to describe the sound of HOTD is to imagine KISS if they were heavily blues-influenced. If you can imagine that sound, and if you think you'd like it, then Hair of the Dog might be right up your alley. It's pure hard rock with no frills, no edgy alternative angles and no apologies. 

Works for me!

HOTD: Ryan Cook, Mike Dupke, Brian "Boot" Saputo. Also appearing on "Ignite" are Lemmy Kilmister and Sean Colligan (additional guitars).

"Rise" (Spitfire Records; 2000)

Reviewed by Shelly Harris

"Rise" is the second CD released by LA-based (but Midwest bred) Hair of the Dog and, really, drummer Mike Dupke (once percussionist with John Mellencamp's touring band) nails it on the head when he describes the band's music as "good, stick-to-your-ribs party music" in the vein of such hard rock hook meisters as Van Halen, Kiss, AC/DC, etc., who the band openly and respectfully sites as influences along with Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Skid Row, and others of that ilk. Get the picture?

Produced by the esteemed Michael Wagener, the disk displays an evident flair for anthemic, melodic songwriting, replete with power riffs that - judging from the sustained popularity of the genre - never really go out of style. But what's different here is that this isn't a band that's been around doing this kind of material for 20 years, whereas as most of the other new stuff coming out in this power/pop metal/boogie rock line of music is basically still being generated by those big stadium bands of yore who first created this kind of music in the first place. So, fresh foot soldiers that they are, Hair of the Dog has set out to breathe a breath of fresh air into Saturday night, good-time party music with "Rise." Or as singer Ryan Cook - who certainly has enough attitude and ‘strut' in his vocals to go one on one with the best of the bad boy crooners - notes, "We're backyard music in your barbecue, man ... We want your back yard to be an arena." 

Though Hair of the Dog might not be a favorite for those who are exclusively into progressive or alternative heavy rock, certainly with such tunes as "You're The One," "Rise," "Mokur Jahoobees," and "The Almighty Strut," HOTD shows they can nearly beat the best of the above named power/hard rockers at their own game. 

Hair of the Dog is: Ryan Cook: vocals; John Sepetys: guitars; Boot Saputo: Bass; and Mike Dupke: drums

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Sep 2023 14:32:29 -0400.