Title: In the Dynamite Jet Saloon
Catalogue Number: China Records
Review Format: LP
Release Year: 1988
80s London wildcats the Dogs D'Amour were perhaps better known for their in-fighting and colossal drug use than for their music. "Victims of Success" would later be a moderate hit for them, but the phrase probably goes some way to sum up their numerous implosions. Despite this, their 1989 album, "In the Dynamite Jet Saloon", is a wonderful collection of Faces-inspired blues-rock laments from the pen of their self-destructive frontman Tyla, featuring what is considered to be the band's "classic" line-up.
The questionable sound quality is perhaps appropriate to the band's sound. Songs such as "Debauchery" aren't supposed to sound neat and polished, although now nearly 20 years on, the album shows its age. This really was the tail-end of the '80s.
"Last Bandit" truly is a hard rock anthem that lost its way. Sordid, sleazy, splendid - if the Dogs had really hit the big time, we'd still be hearing this on the radio like we hear the Rolling Stones. However, songs such as "Heartbreak", should be remembered more for Tyla's lyrics ("I said you remind me of Lesley-Ann Down/she said who is she, what does she do?/I said it doesn't matter now/ just keep being you"), which remain effective even to this day, truly marvelous, even if no one knows who Lesley-Anne Down was. Tyla's sandpaper-worn voice is suitably ragged, sounding as filthy as the women of which he sings.
Also present on this album is perhaps the Dogs' best known song, "How Come it Never Rains", which is a wonderfully pieced together song about the foibles of love. Such insight could only come from a man who has been through the wars himself. Look no further than Tyla.
The Dogs D'Amour never really made the big time, and before their chance came along, they had already instigated their own downfall in haze of smoke and Wild Turkey. Ever the foretellers of their own doom, they would name their next album "A Graveyard of Empty Bottles".
Reviewer: Peter McGee
August 17, 2008
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