Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Byron Coley On The Imperial Dogs: 'So Nasty, So Dumb, So Perfect'!

"Anyone with an interest in the development of the American musical underground in the '70s will truly get their goddamn lunch eaten after watching this," concludes veteran journalist/author/Ecstatic Yod label owner Byron Coley, reviewing the Imperial Dogs' Live! In Long Beach (October 30, 1974) DVD here at the Forced Exposure website.

"The Imperial Dogs blast off into a very raw version of the Kinks' "Till The End Of The Day" and go flat-out from there on," continues Coley. "There are all kinds of pure aggression onstage -- from (vocalist Don) Waller's call to put all Carole King fans into death camps to the Nazi flag draped on the amps to fake vomiting and song intros that would've made my ears wiggle even if I'd heard them in '77 at the height of the punk scare. Waller's presence is a pure PUNK take on Iggy's gestalt, all negativity and amphetamine. He snarls and curses and stomps around, smacking stuff with his chains. And when his pants start to come off, it reads as a very aggressive act, even though it's clearly beyond his control. And the music would've passed for first rate pastiche in that era as well.

"An outstanding proto-punk garage band, the Imperial Dogs sound very cool -- there are traces of the Standells and the Chocolate Watchband along with the Doors and the Stooges and the New York Dolls -- and the fact that they're playing almost all originals is real unusual for the time. Together they really power through this set like no one else could've in those dark days. If I would've seen these guys, I'm pretty sure I'd be living a different life right now.

"So nasty, so dumb, so perfect. Halloween '74. What the fuck were you doing?"

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