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DOGPOUND III Lion Music(2007)

Unsurprisingly, given the title 'III', this is the third album from Swedish outfit Dogpound who return with an album of 14 tracks of melodic hard rock that, although not evident on first listen, gradually show themselves to be a pretty strong collection.

I initially had this tagged as just another Scandinavian melodic rock album that harked back to the days of MTV Europe throwing band after band of high pitched vocals and wailing guitars at you from second rate American bands signed as every label jumped on the 'must sign a hair band' train.

And whilst one or two tracks arguably still sit in that bracket there are more than a few tracks on here that demonstrate Dogpound to be well above this rating.

The highly infectious 'Dead And Gone' stands tall as a fine rocker with the guitar work of Micke Dahlqvist extremely impressive throughout, proving maybe that on the harder edged songs especially this is a band worth reckoning.

'Glass Jar' follows similar principles, with the heavy riffing providing a modern sounding backbone and once I've grown accustomed to the slightly raspy vocals of Henrik Andersson, his delivery style works also in placing Dogpound as some way heavier than many melodic rock exponents, whilst the reliance of a line-up sans keyboards helps back up this assumption too.

The highlight of the album for me though was the excellent mid-point, mid-tempo 'One' which possesses just the right balance of power and melody to possibly even warrant some mainstream attention.

Nailing similarities was actually something I struggled on a bit with this album as at times they've got something similar to Pink Cream 69, at others boast some of the polish and melody of Europe whilst with 'Undivided', another personal favourite, comparisons even to Helloween aren't unfair I think.

Overall though it seems perhaps Dogpound have managed to roll up a number of influences and encompass them into their own unique delivery and have produced a rather fine album, even if it did take me a few listens to realise this!


Review by Bill Leslie

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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