Dog Bone – Pushed
Every time music critics think that ranking the best albums of all time is a good idea, they focus on the same bands and the same records. They love the early punk stuff, the underappreciated quirk-rock groups, and Seattle luminaries of the 90s. All of these albums are filled with visceral energy and, usually, large-sounding electric guitars and vocals.
By these standards, veteran rock band Dog Bone fulfils most music critics’ fantasies. It’s only natural for general observers to want to become part of an important event. That’s why people are as excited about watching an athlete break a long-standing record or about seeing a colossal calamity from up close.
Dog Bone’s “Pushed” is a song determined to sound as if it belongs to the early grunge compilations, the kind that Jack Endino might have been involved with. It’s a song that owes a lot and manages to blend 70s hard-rock and early punk. Its music is delivered with colossal energy and the desire to challenge the resistance of the ear canals of those wishing to see this music performed live on a Saturday night.
Afton Wolfe – Til the River No Longer Flows
Genre: 90s Rock, Garage Rock, Alternative Rock
Not everyone who was in a Seattle band, or in the near proximity, by the time that grunge broke actually “made it,” but every one of them knew where they were trying to go. The fact is that while most other bands embraced modern, extreme forms of sonic assault, the grunge groups loved classic rock, punk and the blues and knew the exact quantity that they needed from each for their recipe.
It’s no coincidence that almost all of the vocalists from that era are so heavily imitated. Singing teachers are still constantly bombarded with requests from students who want to sound like Staley, Vedder or Lanegan. At the heart of what they did, there was an understanding of what made the original rock bands so great.
The first thing you’ll notice about Afton Wolfe’s “Til the River No Longer Flows” are the gruff baritone vocals. The second, if you’re of the right persuasion, will be a genuine love for Mark Lanegan’s Screaming Trees. This is grunge music reimagined through the spectral influence of the blues. It’s a powerful sound, seemingly born out of pain. And, indeed, it’s a powerful sound, one that, at times, even the recording has trouble keeping up with. The measure of soul, however, is not given by common sonic copies.