You know when the punk movement first emerged and the consequential earthquake caused a generational chasm, with none of the older generation understanding the phenomenon? With that as the criteria, it is time for me to take my place among the confused aged. I do not understand Dog Chocolate or, in the very least, their latest album ‘Snack Fans‘.
It’s a chaotic shambles of crashing drums, barrel-rolling guitars and vocals that spiral erratically and scramble frantically all over the place. From start to finish there is rarely a moment of traditional musicalism or a reprise from the frenzy of insanity. It’s the fury of Frank Carter with none of the melody or craft; it’s Fat White Family with no borders; it’s The Sex Pistols without the social statement. There’s even a strange feeling of ‘Don’t Hug Me I’m scared’ musicality at times (see ‘I Don’t Know’).
At times it becomes difficult to tell whether Dog Chocolate are genuine musicians or whether the whole thing is an elaborate experiment into identifying where the lyrical limitations of nonsense lie in noise-punk. Tracks like ‘Plastic Canoe’, ‘Be a Bloody River’ and (especially) ‘Wish for a Cat’ are so lyrically bizarre that it becomes incredibly difficult listening. It’s what pushes the release over the edge. The passion, the power and the anger are all blaringly present throughout the release, but it’s songs such as these that undermine everything into ridiculousness.
While Punk was an active movement of anti-establishment sentiment with bite incited by public attitude, the biting anger here is often unprovoked and confusing. What’s the point? Whey are things like this? Where is the sentiment? The statement? It’s these questions that make the album more dog ‘chocolate’ than dog’s bollocks.
With that said I will now take my place with the elder generations, curmudgeonly bah’ing in disapproval and arguing that music was far better in my day (ten years ago, when the sound of screamo taking off was all the noise we needed!). There must be something amongst the passion and the poison for someone – but not for me.