Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 

The Residents

Metal Meat & Bone: The Songs Of Dyin' Dog

Review by Gary Hill

To some degree you have an idea what you are going to get when you dig into a new Residents CD. I always land them under progressive rock, largely because of the experimental nature of their sound. This new set has some moments that are clearly prog, though. There is a good deal of range here, from metallic to jazzy and more. This is quite an interesting collection. It comes in a great hardcover book like form. There is a booklet included and two CDs. There is bonus video footage of this at the MSJ YouTube channel, look for the link below this paragraph. There are two CDs. The first includes the main album along with songs inspired by the album. The second disc is demos of songs from the album proper.

You will find bonus video footage of this release is available at the Music Street Journal Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J6hs5bThVc

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Disc One:
          
The Residents Play Dyin' Dog
               
Bury My Bone

A techno texture that's nearly house music opens this thing. It gets a bit noisier and heavier as it continues. Vocals come in over the top, bringing the cut firmly into the Residents catalog. I dig the guitar fills on this, and the cut makes a great opener.

Hungry Hound
This somber piece has a real creepy vibe to it. It works quite well and serves as a mellower respite.
DIE! DIE! DIE!
As you might expect from the title, this is an angry, driving cut. It has a lot of metal built into it, but there is actually a symphonic break, too. This gets a parental advisory. It also has some cool melodic guitar work in the instrumental section.
River Runs Dry
Dark, twisted and suitably strange, this is very much in line with classic Residents. It's freaky and so cool.
The Dog's Dream
Driving and suitably strange, this is also decidedly proggy. It has some cool riffs and hooks. It's one of the most accessible pieces here, and also one of my favorites.
I Know
This is one of the weirdest pieces of the whole set. It is twisted and trippy. It is also very cool and has a lot of prog vibes. It turns even stranger around the mid-track point.
Pass For White
There is almost a gentle, lullaby vibe to this cut. The number has a nearly mainstream feeling. Still, it's the Residents, so you know it's going to be twisted, tweaked and dark. There is a real psychedelic element to it. It is also strangely pretty.
Tell Me
Almost feeling like a continuation of the previous song, this is driving, chaotic and proggy. There is a frantic feeling to it.
Momma Don't Go
Symphonic and yet electronic, this is a mellower, but no less strange and dark, cut.
Dead Weight
Dark and weird, there is a driving element to this cut as it starts out. Hints of harder rock emerge after a while, even leaning toward metal.
The Songs Inspired by Dyin' Dog

           

Cold As a Corpse

Almost symphonic in some ways, this is proggy, psychedelic and weird. It's also chaotic and a bit unsettling. Yet, it's also compelling.

Blood Stains
This starts rather tentative, but starts to coalesce as it pushes onward. It gets rather accessible. There is a dark, symphonic vibe to it. I like the guitar fills over the top a lot, but the whole tune is cool, really.
Cut to the Quick
This song almost seems like a continuation of the previous number. It does have an almost jazzy groove, though. It's trademark Residents, really.
She Called Me Doggy
Percussive and dark, this is tastefully strange. It's also very much what you expect from this band.
Evil Hides
Keyboards brings this into being. The cut has a cool jazzy vibe. The number turns more driving and harder edged later, with a techno sort of aspect at play.
Midnight Man
Slow moving, symphonic keyboard elements serve as the backdrop for the vocal arrangement. Around the minute-and-a-half mark, the song turns to guitar based rocking modes. This is still definitely the Residents, but as this drifts almost toward prog informed by blue rock (the harmonica brings most of that blues element), it turns very mainstream. They work that through and then drop it way down to another melodic movement that is pretty much pure prog before driving it back to the song proper. This gets a parental advisory and even leans toward heavy metal at times. This is one of the most dynamic and intriguing things here, running through a lot of changes. In fact, it might be my favorite song of the whole set.
Disc Two:
             
The Original Dyin' Dog Demos
            
Bury My Bone

In this original, rather organic take, the cut feels like a cool jazz kind of jam. It's an effective variant. I really like this a lot.

Hungry Hound
Dark and twisted, again, I really like this cut a lot. It feels kind of similar to the previous piece.
DIE! DIE! DIE!
This is quite different from the final version. It again feels more like the previous two demos. The growling, snarling vocals are cool. There are definite jazz hints on some of the guitar work here. It drops to just keyboards later and jazz and prog merge as the number grows out from there. I dig the guitar soloing a lot. It shifts back to the song proper after a while.
River Runs Drive
This drives with a punk meets metal vibe. The harmonica is a nice touch. This is cool.
The Dog's Dream
Jazz, psychedelia and prog all seem to merge on this version of the piece. This thing drives into some of the most effective music of this second disc.
I Know
There is a real jazzy energy to this demo. It has a sound a bit like some 1960s action movie soundtrack. This gets a parental advisory.
Pass For White
Hard rocking, this is a driving stomper. It has a bit of a raw punk edge, but also plenty of jazz in the mix.
Tell Me
This driving screamer earns a parental advisory. It's perhaps closer to the final version than some of the others are.
Momma Don't Go
I dig the way blues, jazz, metal and punk seem to merge on this demo. This is a driving powerhouse here.
Dead Weight
This is a dark and screaming hot demo. It's almost metallic in some ways.
 
Return
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2020 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com