Friday, May 21, 2010

Lost Dogs - "Old Angel"

Lost Dogs - Old Angel
2010, Fools of the World

1. Israelites & Oakies
2. Dancin' on the Devil's Elbow
3. Turn It Around
4. The Glory Road
5. America's Main Street
6. Traveling Mercies
7. Dust in My Bowl
8. Pearl Moon
9. The World Is Against Us
10. Wicked Guns
11. Goodbye Winslow
12. Desert Flowers
13. Dead End Diner
14. Carry Me
15. Old Angel

In a just world Old Angel would be a high profile release. The Dogs would be on the covers of magazines and you'd be able to run on down to Walmart to get their newest release. Sadly, with the sorry state of the Christian Music Industry, Old Angel, will struggle in obscurity. It's sad because it's probably their finest release to date, but in a way I'm okay with that. Old Angel is way too good for the Christian Music Industry anyway. They would have taken the concept and either destroyed it before it was born or turned it into fluffy feux-evangelistic nonsense. Fans know that this disc is the result of a road trip taken by the Dogs in 2008 in an endeavor to follow the old historic Route 66 for no other reason that it might be fun to do so. The result is fifteen (er... maybe fourteen) finely crafted songs all about that Glory Road.

The band replaces most of the genuine country influences embedded in the Lost Cabin disc with a bit more folk and alt-rock. There aren't any truly "country" songs here which I can't really say hurts my feelings any. "Israelites & Oakies" much like "Broken Like Brooklyn" start the disc on a somewhat quiet, mellow note. Of course it picks up with "Dancin' on the Devil's Elbow" - a folksy romp that showcases Steve Hindalong's saw-playing skills. You heard right - saw playing. Old Angel also includes an arrangement of the Daniel Amos song "The Glory Road" - a song which appeared on the Songs of the Heart disc in which Route 66 played a pretty big part as well. The song sounds a lot better when it's sung as opposed to the talky version of the original. I wasn't too impressed with "America's Main Street" which recalls the rock-a-billy swagger of Johnny Cash's "I've Been Everywhere." The song just didn't work for me with the talking and the sloppy blues riff. It's like the album takes a break from being excellent. Of course we get the beautiful ballad, "Travelling Mercies" afterward so it's all good. "Wicked Guns" is a hard rocker written by Hindalong about Wild Bill Hickock. Other tunes lament the tragedies of those in the Hooverville camp in 1932. My personal favorite is "Dead End Diner." Usually I don't say "monster hook" when talking about the Lost Dogs, but if you don't like that song and find yourself singing it regularly then you, my friend, don't like music.

Now I think I'm going to pay this disc the biggest compliment I can give it. It threatens to replace Little Red Riding Hood as my favorite Dogs disc. And if it doesn't replace it, it's certainly an easy second.

Useless Fact: Both the disc and the DVD were supposed to be released simultaneously but since the DVD isn't ready yet, the band released the album anyway so we all wouldn't lose our minds during the wait. Nice of 'em I think.


  1. WOW ADAM, that's a bold
    move to say OLD ANGEL bumps up to LITTLE
    as (your...mine too) Best!
    I'll have to give it a listen!
    There's a free sample of ISRAELITES & OKIES
    floating around AND that's a great song!
    THANX for your great review and blog!

    Mark @ illustrationISM

  2. Thank YOU for visiting! Yeah "Old Angel" is awesome. If you like the samples on their myspace you'll probably like the whole album. It just gets better the more I listen to it.

  3. I have been very impressed with Old Angel (though it has not yet replaced Red Riding Hood as my favorite album). I love seeing the Dogs in concert so I am excited to see how the DVD turns out (and when it come out). Old Angel was my favorite track off the disc.

  4. Thanks! for the review (I agree with the seeming "hookieness" of America's Main Street, but it does fit the album. Perhaps if it was the intro, or only on the DVD as a opening or closing credit song.)
    Right now it still doesn't match LRRH or NCT (or even RMC), but it sure is growing on me.