|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1.5 cm|
Dog Trumpet – Dog Trumpet
CD review by Ian Dearden
Peter O’Doherty and Reg Mombassa (brothers in reality, although not in name), were both founding members of legendary Australian band, Mental As Anything, but both left the Mentals at the end of the 1990s to pursue burgeoning careers in the visual arts, (Reg is an iconic graphic designer for Mambo Graphics and he and Peter are both exhibiting fine artists), as well as their joint musical career under the Dog Trumpet moniker.
This self-titled 2002 album, produced, engineered and mixed by the multi-talented Peter O’Doherty at his Big Brain Studio, is the third album by the duo.
Their fifth and most recent album, “River of Flowers”, was released in May, 2010.
The duo describe their music as “roots based, psychedelic, folk pop with hints of blues, country, jazz and celtic music”.
Now there’s a musical cauldron worth dipping into!
The album contains 14 originals – divided equally and very democratically between the brothers, with no co-writes.
These prodigiously talented siblings play, between them, guitars, bass, keyboards, piano, harmonica and percussion.
Their long involvement in the Australian music industry enables them to pull in a wealth of talent as supporting musicians, including ex-Go Between Amanda Brown on violin on Peter’s “In The Morning”, dedicated to the late, great Nick Drake, whose influence on the brothers is clear.
Like their musical alma mater, the Mentals, Dog Trumpet take a whimsical and tongue-in-cheek approach to the songwriting craft.
This is probably best exemplified on this album by “The Jesus Song”, which passes on advice that Reg claims he received direct from the Saviour himself!
“The Gun Song” sees a serious issue (gun control) wrapped up in a sweet country package.
Watch these boys carefully – there is subversion concealed in every song!
And there must be something about DNA and harmonies – these brothers sing together like angels.
In fact, the arrangements throughout the entire album are superb – great lead guitar and iconic slide playing, exquisite vocal harmonies, and all without a hint of self-indulgence.
Most of the songs clock in under 3½ minutes and there is an airy, innocent and Beatlesque feel to much of the album, with traces of early Pink Floyd.
This album is a heady and intoxicating mix that will transport you back to a simpler age.
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