I must say I had fun listening to this record, but not in the way that its creators may have intended. However much hearing Tori Amos changed singer Julia Bogen's life (as it says on the band's official Web site), it's probably the Y Kant Tori Read era that wielded the biggest influence on Downward Dog. The DD press sheet tries to classify the group with Evanescence, No Doubt, Linkin Park, and PJ Harvey, which seems a bit disingenuous when most of this sounds like fun, old-school pop-metal with wronged girl Pat Benatar singing at her most over-the-top. Why would you want to confuse people who love double lead guitars and sung notes extended for 10, maybe 12 seconds -- people who grew up in the '80s but now want rock without all the teased hair? I know, older listeners don't buy merch, but they sure buy nut-house lyrics like "The fruits of your labor going sour each day" and "I admit I am damaged -- I am bruised and these wounds won't be ignored." Hell, they'll boil rabbits to that fun stuff. In DD's yea troops, boo war anthem "The Truth," you can sympathize with Bogen's wanting to support people who have the courage to fight in the name of freedom and not propaganda, but when she sings "I am offended by the atrocities of war/Still I stand for democracy," it's not hard to imagine both sides raising arms against Downward Dog. (www.downwarddog.net)
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