After a ten-year drought on new music from Dog Eat Dog, the seminal rapcore band risked becoming confined to history – a shame, given how they helped to pioneer the rap/punk crossover, inspiring so many bands in the process. Now, the group are ready to drop a “new breed” of dog, and it remains true to the sound they created.
Brand New Breed is an EP consisting of four new tunes, plus two of said new tunes live and unplugged, and two old favourites performed in the same vein for good measure. The opening single, “XXV”, is everything you want from Dog Eat Dog: turntable samples, saxophones and gang-style singalong verses all complementing the standard rock setup. It is a fun and reflective tune to listen to; vocalist John Connor re-introduces what his band is about whilst reminiscing on their career thus far.
“Vibe Cartel” continues in the same partying vein, but “Lumpy Dog” heads down a subdued path, with a distinctly blues/jazz feel to it and more emphasis placed on the saxophone. A song about Connor’s rescue dog, it is one animal lovers will instantly make a connection with, especially the finale with its rap section that drives home the love he has for his pet.
The final new material on New Breed is “Emoji Baby”, a track all about how communication is made in the digital era, the use of emojis in today’s world has – as Connor puts it – crossed language barriers. The unplugged recordings consist of some old favourites in the form of “Rocky” and “Isms”, the latter a song that feels just as relevant today as when it was written. The group even go so far as to update the lyrics, declaring “Trumpism, we don’t want it here!”
If you’re lacking in energy or a good time, look no further than the “Vibe Cartel”.
Brand New Breed is a blast from the past and a delightful resurrection for Dog Eat Dog. If you were a fan of the band back in the day, this is an EP you need in your collection.