ALBUM REVIEW: Slaughter And The Dogs – Do It Dog Style 3CD set (Cherry Red/Captain Oi!)
This is a 3CD expanded version of the debut album by Slaughter And The Dogs, one of the most highly-regarded bands from the first wave of punk.
Formed in 1975 on Manchester’s sprawling Wythenshawe estate by singer Wayne Barrett and guitarist Mick Rossi, their sound owed as much to glam rockers like David Bowie and Mick Ronson as US garage punks such as MC5 and The Stooges.
SATD took their name from Bowie’s album Diamond Dogs and Ronson’s Slaughter On Tenth Avenue, and their place in punk history was assured when they supported the Sex Pistols in summer 1976 at their now-famous Lesser Free Trade Hall gig.
Their first outing on vinyl was in punk’s ‘year zero’, 1977, when two live songs, Runaway and Boston Babies, were featured on the seminal The Roxy London WC2 compilation.
Debut single Cranked Up Really High was released by Manchester indie label Rabid Records in May 1977, and helped make them firm favourites on the city’s burgeoning punk circuit.
They were snapped up by major label Decca, which released their second single, the stone-cold punk classic Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone?, in August 1977, and two more 45s, Dame To Blame and Quick Joey Small, as punk swept the country.
They didn’t manage to achieve the chart success the label craved, however, and by the time debut album Do It Dog Style was released in June 1978, SATD had split up.
With no band to tour the album or carry out other promotional duties, the album did as well as you’d expect, and although they did get back together, their moment had gone.
The Mick Ronson-produced Do It Dog Style, which is disc one here, is 12 slices of glammed up R&B, with nine original songs and three covers.
Of the originals, the aforementioned Boot Boys is by far the best, though Boston Babies, I’m Mad and Victims Of The Vampire are also worth a listen.
The covers are obscure 60s bubblegum hit Quick Joey Small, the Velvet Underground’s I’m Waiting For The Man and the New York Dolls’ Who Are The Mystery Girls, as they wore yet more of their influences on their sleeve.
Disc two, the Cranked Up Really High compilation originally released by Captain Oi! in 1995, is a real pick & mix. It gathers 19 non-LP cuts, including their debut 45, the two Live At The Roxy tracks, the scarce It’s Alright EP (recorded in 1977 but not released until 1979) and non-album B-sides, including the excellent speed-fuelled rock ‘n’ roll number Johnny T.
The final disc is the frantic Live Slaughter Rabid Dogs LP, recorded in May 1977 and originally released the following year. As a document of where they were at this point in time it’s vital, capturing the raw energy of a SATD gig, complete with exhortations to the crowd to stop chucking glasses.
SATD reconvened to release a second album, Bite Back, in 1980, but the dogs had lost their teeth, and by the time Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone? was included on Oi! The Album that same year, they had became largely irrelevant due to the emerging oi! scene.
Although it’s missing the four singles they released for DJM Records in 1979-80 (presumably for licensing reasons), as a document of how one of punk’s original bands sounded in their heyday this set is essential – particularly the live disc. 8/10.