Last month saw the release of Pledge: A Tribute To Kerbdog via Stressed Sumo Records. Now regular readers of my blog will know that I wrote some liner notes for the disk and I thought it’d be cool to reprint them up on the blog. The record itself is ace. Some of the renditions of the likes of ‘Dry Riser’ and ‘Mexican Wave’ are great and I urge anyone who was into the band to pick it up.
Anyway, enough of the hard sell. Here’s my liner notes plus a video for ‘Mexican Wave’ from the lads themselves. R.I.P.
In Memory of Kerbdog
I’ll always remember the first time I met Kerbdog. It was via a long forgotten late night rock show on ITV called Noisy Mothers and despite the god awful moniker, it was actually a great way to keep up with new acts (don’t judge me). Anyway, on this particular night my brother and I caught the clip for ‘End of Green’ by Kilkenny’s finest and while the video itself won’t win any awards, the song was a revelation. It was the vocals that struck me first-all impassioned and seemingly out of sync with the rest of the band. Then that sledge hammer riff really kicked in and I knew from then on in that my diet of Maiden, Lizzy and Ozzy just wouldn’t be enough to nourish my bones.
I remember playing the song to my band at the time and demanding (yes, I was one of those teenagers) that we cover/rip off the track. Our version sucked harder than Annabel Chong of course, but it didn’t really matter, we were having fun. A few weeks later I sold some unwanted tapes and comics to the nearest mug I could find and bought the band’s debut. It was one of my first introductions to so-called “Alternative” music and I couldn’t get enough. Hell, I even took my love for the band as far as hunting down some dodgy specs and cardigans to ape the unlikely style icon that was fellow short-sighted leftie Cormac Battle, but that’s a story for another time…
It’s no secret that Kerbdog never really got their day in the sun (despite their punchy follow up ‘On The Turn’ seeming to have “success” stamped all over it) but to the lucky ones who actually make the effort of hunting down the true hidden treasures, they leave behind a legacy of potent and perverted pop rock songs that will live on long after their untimely demise in the late 90s. In a perfect world we’d all love to hear another record, but for now I’ll settle for those all too rare reunion gigs where I can dance just like those cheesy dudes from the ‘Mexican Wave’ video. Ok, now you can judge me…
Edwin McFee is a music journalist and writes for NME, Hot Press and AU