REVIEW: King’s X – Dogman (1994)

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Complete studio albums (and more!), part 7


DOGMAN FRONT

KING’S X – Dogman (1994 Atlantic)

I remember getting this for Christmas of 1994.  “Blown away” about sums it up.

Is Dogman their best album?  No, but it sure was a shock to my system when I first heard it.  Back in the 1990’s, I skipped the previous (self-titled) album and picked this up based solely on the strength of the killer first single “Dogman”. I could not believe the song — groovy, basic, heavy, angry but loaded with soul and melody. Just like King’s X in general, but “Dogman” upped the heavy and downplayed some of King’s X whimsy.

When I got the album Dogman, one thing surprised me — not one song was sung by Ty Tabor! Except for the bridge on “Dogman”, all lead vocals were handled by Doug Pinnick. This was disappointing to me as I like bands with two lead singers. I never heard why Ty doesn’t sing on it, but I adjusted.  Truthfully every song on Dogman is a winner, and are suited to Doug’s vocals.  In hindsight, it fits the direction.

I mean, this band is so freakin’ talented!  From the sheer unique sound of this band, mixing progressive rock with heavy metal and soul, mixed with the Beatles and so much more…you can’t see enough good things about King’s X.  I love Doug’s bass, I think he’s playing 8 or 12 string in spots.  But what makes this band unique is Doug’s voice.  Nobody else has that.

Doug’s lyrics are quite obtuse (I don’t know what “Tide, underside my pillow, willow, whoa-oh, thundering” means) but the way he sings it sure sounds like he has something to get off his chest. “Passionate” might be one way to describe these songs.  At the same time there are slower songs like “Flies and Blue Skies” that I won’t call a ballad, but have that ballady vibe.

Highlights: The title track, “Shoes”, “Cigarettes”, “Pillow”, “Pretend”, “Fool You”, “Go To Hell”, “Complain”, and…hell.  All the rest.

I really like “Cigarettes”…it’s just mournful.  “Shoes” is more upbeat and grooving, although still with dark undertones.  Really, the whole album has darker undertones than previous King’s X releases.  And that’s just fine.  It was 1994.  What are you gonna do?

Lowlights: None. There are no weak songs.  Maybe just the live version of “Manic Depression” (Hendrix).  I liked that they tacked on a live cover at the end of the album, it’s just not my favourite Hendrix tune by a good margin.

Notably, this is King’s X first album without Sam Taylor producing.  It was crushingly produced for the 1990’s by Brendan O’Brien.

4.9999~/5 stars

Part 1 – Out of the Silent Planet (1988)
Part 2 – Gretchen Goes to Nebraska (1989)
Part 3 – Kings of the Absurd (split bootleg with Faith No More)
Part 4 – Faith Hope Love by King’s X (1990)
Part 5 – “Junior’s Gone Wild” (from 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey soundtrack)
Part 6 – King’s X (1992)

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27 comments

  1. Yeah man believe it or not Kings X played Thunder Bay about 4 yrs ago at a local bar,only about 40 people,we’re there and man they showed up played a full 90 minutes like they were playing infront of 4,000 people!
    Dugs Bass live is how u here it on there records……loud!
    After the show they were gracious enough to sign swag and CDs,for which I got Ear Candy ( my fav ) kinda cool seeing there tour bus pulled up beside some shit bar here in tbay on a Tuesday night…..
    Great recording /live act….
    Deserved a better fate……

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  2. Yeah for sure,I told them when I met them that Ear Candy was my fav, and asked them if Lanni was gonna do there next one and they said they would have no troubles working with him again…cool laid back guys……..

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    1. I always like to hear that! I wonder why they never worked with Lanni again. I think they have self-produced every time? Maybe money is an issue, I think Ear Candy was their last on the major label…Best Of came right after it, a usual sign of a band being dropped.

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  3. Yeah they played here on the Orge Tones tour ,that was a good record also…songs came across good live…..but your right about Lanni not doing the next one was due to cash…..

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  4. This is a band I’ve only started getting into recently. Got the 1st two albums which are superb so I’ll need to give this one a go too. I think Doug has a great voice but I didn’t know Ty sang lead so I’m not sure which parts are him or Doug! Guess that’s my street cred gone too…

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    1. Well HMO I still consider you a master of metal, lots of street cred! My exposure to them was via their videos. So I knew Doug’s voice from “Over My Head” and Ty’s from “It’s Love”. Both are great videos!

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  5. My only concert ever at the old El Mocambo was seeing King’s X there. Amazing show … About halfway through the show i realize that the guy in front of me looks familiar. Then i realize its Phil Anselmo. (Black Sabbath was playing the SkyDome that same night and Pantera was opening.. obviously they were kings x fans) .. Then i look to my left and I am standing beside Dimebag Darrell. Obviously that became more monumental several years later .

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  6. Yeah .. it didnt mean much to me at the time to be honest. Wasnt that and still am not a big Pantera fan .. For all the Metal from 1982 ish on that i have been exposed to .. seeing all these bands from the beginning … Pantera has never seem essential to me. Im sure that is not a popular opinion towards Metal fans. Funny story too .. couple weeks ago i watched live online Metal Masters 5? i believe was the number. Scott Ian Billy Sheehan Kerry King Charlie Benante Phil Anselmo .. etc .. There was a chat room going on while it was on .. When Anselmo hit the stage i commented that “the musical and intellectual IQ just went down on stage” .. I got fucking bombarded with hate messages like i have never seen. Which didnt go over well when i then commented how brainless Pantera fans are married to fighting. LOL

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  7. Dogman! What a great review to find here this was a magnificent record which as has always been the case with King’s X, ‘should’ve’ catapulted them into the 90’s with names such as AIC and Soundgarden. Still it’s us fans that reaped the rewards Dogman still serves like it did when released, big thumping grooving classic King’s X!

    Ya know it really wasn’t until XV that I felt the band finally delivered anything quite as complete (be sure to get XV bonus track edition with Love And Rockets (Hell’s Screaming)), Dogman was quite possibly their best record but darn hard debate either way as there’s some quality back catalog to choose from…

    Weirdly though thought their best tune during the 90’s was FADE which came on their followup record TapeHead, but Dogman was far superior song for song, its completeness was unquestionable.

    Great review here Mike another fun trip, hopefully you can tackle some of their earlier records down the track \m/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dude, I sure do have the bonus track version of XV. It is a really excellent album. And I also like TapeHead! It takes some effort to fully get into. It’s very much one direction — heavy groove. Similar to PoundHound. But I do like TapeHead a lot! I think I should make a point of digging up my King’s X and related CDs and listening soon.

      BTW — check out my review for Platypus, a band featuring Ty Tabor.

      https://mikeladano.com/2014/11/08/review-platypus-ice-cycles-2000/

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  8. Holy crap MIkey….I’ve been littering your site with comments for over 3 years now! Hahaha….great review and great reread as well…..this has to be I think my fav of theres but Ear Candy and even Orge Tones has moved up there as well just by the fact that those songs cooked live like Hurricane!
    Great series dude!

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  9. This one sounds pretty special. Also, a 4.9999 is almost better than a 5 in my book (how many 4.9999 albums are there in the World!? – exactly!) Great stuff!

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