A Giant Dog Record Review

Pile (Merge)

A Giant Dog Record Review

As the popularity of Sweet Spirit froths the ears of even casual observers to Austin's music scene, Andrew Cashen and Sabrina Ellis' pre-existing punk band gets drafted by an important record label and releases their most inspired work. A Giant Dog's fourth punning platter – House, Fight, Bone, and now Pile – arrives comparatively light on melodrama, brimming with live fast/die young missives instead, anthems of restless spirits who drink love and life from the same red plastic cup. AGD "piles" the album's front end with an unblemished five-song sequence beginning with loathing love song "Creep" and ending with Thin Lizzy doo-wop recipe "& Rock & Roll." In betwixt resides melodic punk masterwork "Sleep When Dead," which may be the quintet's strongest single to date. Later, Pile turns a corner into aggressive with sociopath diary "I'll Come Crashing," hitting a wrecking ball with Ellis' vox, Graham Low's spastic bass scrubbing the muck, and erstwhile drummer Orville Bateman Neeley punching the beat like a drill press. That raw (emotional) power then carries over into the triumphant "Too Much Makeup." At close, a final, unexpected, gem: acoustic "Get With You and Get High," wherein Cashen's tender voice overshadows verses by Ellis and Spoon's Britt Daniel. Pillow talk after rough sex.


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  • Glimmer Twins

    Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen instigate A Giant Dog Pile

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