Now available in that most arcane of physical formats better known as the audio cassette, and a pink cassette at that, is the “Awkward” EP by Dog Legs. Awkward in name only however as this is the slickest bit of lo-fi that I have heard in quite some time.
The six songs on this EP pretty much sum up the collective existence of our misdirected youth as they stumble through our centrally controlled consumer oriented dystopian hell. That’s the big picture painted so let’s get down to what is flying by the tape heads. Well, one song in and, with “Beast Like Me”, already Dog Legs have unleashed the hymn to self loathing that Morrissey has been trying to perfect for his entire post Smiths life. Is there a better way of spending 2 minutes and 15 seconds on a wet Friday night? I think not. Then the searchlight shines on girl power as the lilting west garage vibe of “Memory Chester” redefines teenage rebellion. “Cobra Snake”, by comparison seems almost superficial as if drowning in post punk influences was simply something this band had to do. It is easy to forgive them though for having an attack of predictability.
The gloves come back off for “Bitch Please”. Weaving down a south central LA inspired road into the projects, this song mixes laconic vocals, bleak lyrics into an acoustic soup seasoned with ennui. Changing direction with no warning, “Dear Ruth” seems more the kind of exercise in minimalist absurdism that would surely resurrect the ghost of Vivien Stanshall and, with no more than sharpening of the lyrical knife, this cassette hits the end with a curiously oblique “Another Shit Teen Movie”.
Too good to be mere amateurs getting lucky, we shall be hearing more of Dog Legs.
The cassette is available from Bandcamp. It’s a very limited edition.