"Emotional Animal" (Magna Carta; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Dug Pinnick, of King's X, has been a rather prolific artist outside the work of his main band. I have long admired King's X, but have found it somewhat difficult to fully appreciate the solo albums of King's X members because of it. Dug Pinnick has made two solo albums under the Poundhound moniker, and for this effort he simply went with his own name (it appears Dug is here to stay and Doug may never come back).

"Emotional Animal" covers 15 tracks in all and compared to the Poundhound records there's a lot of sonic variety. Thus, this doesn't make the 15 tracks on "Emotional Animal" seem like a long exercise in simply allowing Dug to get all of his ideas out in one fell swoop. Comparatively speaking, "Emotional Animal" shares more in common with "Pineappleskunk" than "Massive Grooves" which I can only assume would be a positive thing in the yes of King's X fans and Poundhound fans. A strong move toward classic rock and psychedelic/dreamy rock can be heard on "Emotional Animal" as well. The standout track for me is "Beautiful."  Everything that we know about Dug culminates in the wonderful track "Beautiful." This track combines the positive thinking, non-judgmental philosophy Dug (and his fellow bandmates in King's X) have espoused for years.

Obviously Dug's singing and bass playing aren't too far removed from his better-known work in King's X. It's Dug's guitar playing that impresses me the most in spite of whatever it might like technically. Even Dug has admitted his guitar work is more about catching the right groove or the right feeling rather than any sort of clinical precision. Often, Dug's caterwauling, noisy six-string histrionics are at odds with the kinds of guitar sounds you might accustomed to hearing when he's playing bass in King's X. But that's OK the listener is really getting the full personality of Pinnick when he plays what he hears in his head.

Dug's vocal range and tones on "Emotional Animal" are varied and impressive. I was caught off guard when I learned that Dug did all the singing on King's X "Manic Moonlight" in which he later informed me he was consciously trying to reinvent his voice. Well, it sounds like Dug has gotten to a point in his recording career where he is comfortably letting all of sounds he hears himself singing finally coming out naturally without too much forced effort.

Even at this early stage of listening to the disc I personally favor "Emotional Animal" over the two Poundhound releases. Don't ask me why I simply don't know. It just flows better in my mental processing when I'm listening to it than the Poundhound discs. A CD-ROM portion of "Emotional Animal" comes with two bonus demo tracks ("Saturdays" and "Die") and video of Dug discussion the two-year journey that became the album. 

"Emotional Animal" was produced by Dug Pinnick. Mastering services provided by Ty Tabor.

Dug Pinnick performs all vocals and instruments except drums by Joey Gaskill on all songs and mouth trumpet and additional vocals by Kelly Watson on "Freak The Funk Out."

For more information visit http://www.magnacarta.net/releases/dugpemotanimal.html.

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 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 15:32:20 -0400 .