Vertigo Records Album Review: VIGILANTE by CROSS DOG


vertigologo2011Vicious.  What fuzztastic tones these Valley smashers have pulled out of the ether.  Not since that crazy fucker Lacasse brought us Crabwebs have I heard such straight smashing bass guitar roll thunder across my ear holes.  And wait, vocalist Tracy A has a political backbone too.  I’ve had my experience yelling about all things political, and spent a long time loving all the best bands that spit rage back at the lazy naysayers sitting on their comfortable asses waiting for the world to hand them their freedom.  It might not be for everyone, but I firmly believe that if you feel angry about something and have the avenue to express it through art, then take it and be damn sure those listening get the point.  Peterborough’s Cross Dog have done just that with their LP Vigilante released on Uncle D Records.  Right out of the gate, Mark Rand lays down one heavy fucking riff after another.  Yeah, I might be getting a bit sick of the bass-only bands, but as I said before, it hasn’t been since Crabwebs that I have had my guts quaked by bass like this.  Straight ahead, viciously relentless bass riffs, full of thick fucking tone, smash your face over and over.  Fuckin’ right!  Then, the vocals come at you like a rabid dog, with lyrics like:

Set fire to the paper walls
Break down the door
Choked out with their hands behind their back
Old men at war



10927844_1059083334117663_186537523863608144_oThe production on this record is fat and fantastic.  Vigilante was mixed/mastered etc by Dave Baksh of Sum 41 fame. Yes, all you get is a bass guitar and drums, but whoever put together this recording knew what they were doing.  There is no need for guitar here, it’s smashes your face with bottom end growl and relentless drumming.  And yes, getting your face smashed by music is a righteous rite of passage and you should always be looking for a bruisin’ with music like this.  There are even moments of stoner rock for those simply interested in rifftastic fuzznastics. The opening riff of Widow will give you that 70s fuzz bounce that feels a bit like Brant Bjork or Thin Lizzy, but soon gets back on the smash train.  The growl bass tone of Suffocate quake bowels better than much I’ve heard recently, and even lingers in the world of Rage Against The Machine; say what you want about that band, those fuckers knew how to get their point across with a vengeance, and Cross Dog are easily that relentless.  The title track to the album has a fitting message to all those weak, coward fuckheads that think they are making some sort of statement about a better world by trying to wipe out art that offends them.

Vigilante, vigilante
Fight against art and fight against dreams
Vigilante, vigilante
Fighting word crimes from behind a screen



1026225_677838265575507_1586484113_oYeah, fuck you cowards, get out from your computer screens and make real change instead of spouting off hateful comments to those trying to make compelling and perhaps offensive art; your chip-stained track pants and Garfield sweaters don’t scare me.

Anyway, this is a great record by a great band with a huge powerful punch in their sound.  And, if it matters to you like it does me, the vinyl comes with a download card so you can listen to the music on your portable whatnot as well.  Because, hey, it’s hard to carry the record player around on your evening bike ride.  Go fuck yourself.



Check out their music here, but better yet, if you’re in the Ottawa area on June 18, come see them blow the fucking doors off House of TARG as part of the Ottawa Explosion Weekend Uncle D Records Showcase when they hit the stage with FLYING FORTRESS, ZEX, and a special reunion performance by GOAT HORN.  You can check out more details about that show here.  When you’re there, pick up Vigilante on vinyl from Uncle D himself – the package is very nice, and sounds amazing. – FATS