Mean is the fifth studio album from Columbus Ohio's American Dog. Since issuing their debut album Last Of A Dying Breed ten years ago America's favorite canines have been working on getting their raunchy, tongue in cheek, booze addled, below the belt rock 'n roll out to the masses. With each subsequent album this rabid trio consisting of Michael Hannon (bass and vocals), Steve 'Piggy' Theado(guitars) and Keith Pickens (drums), have incredibly been able to up the ante over the previous one.
While this dog certainly hasn't lost any of its bite over the years the band's 2007 release Hard was a turning point of sorts in that it saw them moving slightly away from their straight ahead, but highly effective three chord attack by dare I say it, experimenting a little. It wasn't anything radical but one could definitely sense that they had put almost as much effort into honing their skills as songwriters, than they had spendign their time cracking open beer cans, and that's saying a lot because these boys definitely love their suds.
The album commences with a truly hellacious guitar riff from Theado on "Just One More" and for the next forty minutes or so the guys serve up a hearty dose of no frills, kick ass rock 'n roll, all done up doggie style of course. With his typical aplomb and tongue planted firmly in check Michael Hannon snarls his way through these inspired tales of lust and drunken debauchery, while Theado tosses off an arsenal of sweaty, 110% proof fueled licks on "Drivin' Down The Sidewalk", "Boozehound" and the swamp like boogie feel of future AA anthem "Gonna Stop Drinkin' Tomorrow". When they're not diggin' deep into their dirty bag of classic rock inspired licks on the Zeppelin-esque stomp of "Sunshine/ Moonshine", then they're serving up a shitload of face melting, slide guitar riffage on "Aint Dead Yet" and the venomous closing anthem "Motherfucker", which without me giving all the fun away, concludes with a…shall we say, twist of Dr. Pepper. And if all that wasn't enough for ya check out their rip snortin' take on Blue Oyster Cult's "This Ain't The Summer Of Love" in which the boys firmly put their own stamp on this deep album cut off of Agents of Fortune.
American Dog just keeps getting better and better with age and Mean just goes to show you that you can in fact teach an old dog new tricks. If you like good old fashioned, balls to the wall hard rock then these rabid canines are definitely going to give it to you, and then some, every single time. Mean is exactly what the cover implies, its one nasty SOB!
1) Just One More
2) Cat Has Got You By The Tongue
3) Drivin' Down The Sidewalk
6) Gonna Stop Drinkin' Tomorrow
7) Mine All Mine
8) This Ain't The Summer Of Love
9) Sunshine / Moonshine
10) Ain't Dead Yet