When a band’s promotional one-sheet references CLUTCH, I’m already on guard. Not that picking up sonic and lyrical cues from the Maryland Men Of Cordial Gentility is anything bad per se. It’s just that 8 of 10 times what we get is an act that’s flipped through a thesaurus, listened to a REVEREND GARY DAVIS album once, and probably covers ‘Big News I & II’ live to show its “diversity”.

Thankfully, in real life, THE DEATHLESS DOGS are very much their own blend. Sure, the duo is the sum of its influences, but that’s the majority of what’s in all our favorite album lists. Also, three self-released albums into its career, if TDD hadn’t at least stepped out from under the shadow of its forebearers, why bother? ‘Wages’ acts more as an intro, a vestibule to the sanctuary of blooze-bathed bravado that is ‘Broken Years’, and if you can get through the chorus of this one without being reminded of largely unsung greats THE FOUR HORSEMEN and RAGING SLAB, I’ll eat my boots. Autobiographical and swinging like a suspended sledgehammer, ‘Scania’ retraces vocalist/guitarist Eddy Krugman’s time in Iraq with Middle Eastern phrasing and Dan Speer John Bonham-ing his heart out to great effect.

Where THE DEATHLESS DOGS – and where Five Across The Eyes – wins is in being at once a “How’s it going?” to those who’ve been with the band since the start, and a solid, instantly-memorable first impression for those who haven’t. Get bit.
Review By: Lord Randall

Five Across The Eyes [EP]
4 / 6