Does most of today’s punk rock leave you feeling cheated? Then put your money down on Detroit’s claim to all that is black-leather-sweatin’ Marshall-blastin’ balls-out ‘n’ badass — The Dogs.
Raging out of the legendary Motor City rock scene of the ’70s, which spawned such musical touchstones as the Stooges, MC5, Amboy Dukes, Up, and other lesser known but equally ferocious proto-punk acts. The Dogs packed all the feral energy and cultural angst of that era into their live shows and an enduring set of recordings. Now they’re back, and rocking harder than just about any band — young or otherwise — that dares to call themselves punk.
Formed in 1969, in Lansing, Michigan USA, the trio of “Loren Dog” Molinare (guitar and vocals), Mary Dryer (bass), and Ron Wood (drums), channeled the pummeling power of Detroit rock and Chuck Berry inspired riffs into tough tunes with a pissed-off social conscience. Perhaps best known for their classic breakout single “John Rock Roll Sinclair” released in 1976, at the dawn of the punk explosion and named for the leader of the militant White Panther Party and manager of the MC5.
The band followed up with the searing “Slash Your Face” in ’78. Spin Magazine has hailed “Slash Your Face” as one of the top 10 punk rock songs of all time. Many of The Dogs best known compositions, including “Fed Up,” “Tuff Enuff,” “Younger Point of View,” and “Years Gone By,” stand as cutting social observations that are as relevant today as they were decades ago.
Commented Molinare in a 1999, interview; “Those kinds of songs are social observations about how corporate thinking stinks because peoples’ needs are second to the almighty dollar, or how certain political mindsets are repressive and offensive to humans. I mean, the master race kind of thing just never fuckin’ stops, so we wrote about a lot of human injustices.”
The Dogs opened for such acts as the MC5, Ramones, Television, Dictators, AC/ DC, Kiss, and Van Halen, and became one of the seminal LA punk bands of the era after locating there in the mid ’70s following a stint in New York. They disbanded soon after returning from a ’78-’79 tour of England, finding that hair metal had taken over the scene and punk had fallen out of favor. But history always repeats itself, and as Molinare says; “the band wasn’t ahead of its time so much as timeless.”
With the 2001, release of the Fed Up compilation on Dionysus Records, which they answered in 2003, with a set of new material entitled Suburban Nightmare The Dogs were encouraged to hit the stage once again. 2007, saw the release of “The Dogs Tribute” Doggy Style a 26-band 2-CD package from Future Now Records that also features several historic, unreleased tracks from The Dogs. A live DVD Purity Not Perfection was released in March 2009 — the year that marked The Dogs’ 40th anniversary.
In 2008, the band embarked on a tour of Japan and since have been playing well-received West Coast shows with founding members Molinare and Kay along with their former ’80s-lineup drummer Tony Matteucci, filling in on occasion when the rebellious Wood “is in trouble with the man!”