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Saturday Night Fever

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Album Review

New York garage punk trio the Devil Dogs could usually be counted on for consistency, but 1994's Saturday Night Fever is a hair below most of their other albums in the entertainment department. Most of the problem is in the production, which takes that fatal half-step from authentically raunchy lo-fi to just plain bad: most of the record sounds like it was recorded at the bottom of a fairly deep well. Even aside from that, however, there are fewer of the Devil Dogs' great snotty pop-punk classics, and too many songs sound like half-hearted rewrites of what had come before. Although it has a fun early-'60s pop parody feel to it, "Get On Your Knees" isn't much more than a rewrite of "Suck the Dog," the early Devil Dogs' slice of punk misogyny later recorded by both Billy Childish and the Italian punks the Singing Dogs. One highlight is a swell cover of Gene Pitney's "Backstage," but too much of the rest of the album is simply passable at best.

Biography

Formed: 1989

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

While recording an album in 1989, New York City punk band the Rat Bastards imploded due to typical musical differences, and two members, Andy Gortler (guitar, vocals) and Steve Baise (bass, vocals), carried on with the project as the Devil Dogs. Influenced particularly by '60s trash rock (Sonics, Wailers), the Phil Spector "Wall of Sound," and the big New York punk sound of the '70s (Ramones, New York Dolls, Dictators), the Devil Dogs went on to release a slew of LPs, EPs, live albums, and 45s. Gortler...
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Saturday Night Fever, The Devil Dogs
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