Check out the cover art on their album. Hey, I remember a group who posed like that for a photo-op a couple years back. Perhaps on a clever take on the now infamous The Red Hot Chili Peppers picture. Either way I’m sure the naked guy was freezing.
Big Red Dog is a band from NYC comprised of Cale Donaldson (drummer/lyricist), Cliff Benfield (rhythm guitarist/lead vocalist), Nick Vulpis (lead guitarist) and Boris Litvin (bassist). Their recent release Just The Tip adheres to a predictable pop/punk formula (with some slight deviations) that has been done to excess in recent years.
The band has some innate talent but still has work to do if they hope to draw a larger audience. Sometimes they aren’t playing in the pocket, the production is often underwhelming and the band relies on too many tropes. There are occasional moments that shine through but they are too infrequent to really be effective.
The first song “Bruce Cave” is pop/punk 101. It’s sounds like every other Blink-182 song you have heard and doesn’t offer anything unique or original about the band. The next song “Tonight, Tonight” follows a very similar pattern. Unfortunately, the lyrics are just as surface level as the music. He sings, “I’m searching, I’m waiting, for someone to call me / To reach me, to feel me, to hold me tonight.”
I was pleasantly surprised with a portion of the third song entitled “A Perfect Picture.” The verse is strong and the guitar and bass parts not only displayed some creativity but also coalesced well. “Hurricanes, Halloween, And Other Scary Stories” is also a step up in terms of originality. I think it is safe to say that “Hurricanes, Halloween, And Other Scary Stories” is the highlight of the EP. The whole band is on point and Benfield delivers his best vocal performance. They close with “Breakdown,” which is more or less the predictable pop/punk they played on the first two songs.
Big Red Dog is a work in progress. They need to tighten up their sound and fuse some more original elements into their music.
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