Supporting The Dogs

The Sign Of The Raised Leg EP

Written by: PP on 09/12/2010 03:01:40

Danish pop punk isn't confined just to bands in Copenhagen, apparently. I thought people from Jylland only listened to metal and German folk music, but here we have Supporting The Dogs from the small town of Herning, who are adamant in bringing California-styled pop punk to fame within the borders of Denmark, at least if you are to believe what the band themselves are saying. In practice, however, Supporting The Dogs aren't as closely related to pop punk as a couple of their songs lead you to believe. Their sophomore EP, "The Sign Of The Raised Leg", is more like a 70/30 mixture between the big, anthemic riffs of polished alternative rock and pop punk in reality. If you're thinking "well that sounds familiar", it's because you'll probably have heard releases by fellow Danish alt rockers/pop punkers Pinboys and Rock Hard Power Spray that fall within the same category. The Swedes from Mike aren't too far off either. What their obsession with dogs is I have no idea of, but there are two songs with said animal in title, not to mention their band name or the EP title. Strange, but I've seen stranger.

Each song on the record is individually good, but some cohesion and coherency is desperately needed. The first song falls nicely underneath the description I just threw your way above, but then already on the next song the band jumps into another genre. "Clear Blue Eyes", you see, brings to mind now-defunct Copenhagen band Puto Diablo thanks to its nu-metal style rapped sections embedded within. It wouldn't be incorrect to place a Papa Roach parallel here either, if you think all the way back to "Infest"-era.

All this is in stark contrast to "Jungle Bungle", which is a much brighter and riff-oriented track, the first time on this EP where the band sounds like conventional pop punk. But the echoing dance-hall effect on the vocals is still prevalent as on the songs before, and I think the band could benefit a lot by limiting the vocal space down to tighter, more confined, and more focused one instead. Hit The Lights may or may not have been an inspiration behind this song, and if not, they should look into how those guys handle the vocals, because this could be a LOT better if more attention was paid to that particular detail. However, that could just be a production issue, so I won't comment on it further. There's also a little A Day To Remember vibe to this song during a few verse parts, though the short ska-sections remind me of Barenaked Ladies instead. Quite a lot of different styles and bands packed into the same songs, and that's part of the problem here.

Next up is "Lights Out" , an alt rock ballad, but still pretty good, and the record is finished off by "The First Dog In Space", unquestionably the best song on this record. As you guys all know, I'm not big on ballads, but this one here has just the right melody and a tempo-transformation late in the song for the band to make it a home run instead of just first base. Think Lights. Action! if they were a Danish band instead, although the emocore-styled chorus should instantly remind you of either Anberlin or The Audition.

Okay so, I've thrown a ton of references, styles and descriptions in your face, but what's the overall verdict on the record? The songs are individually all quite good, not amazing but enjoyable in their own right, but because they are so different stylistically, the EP feels a little bit like a...mess. Not a bad one, but one of those you'll see in your kitchen after cooking up a meal or two, one that bothers you just enough so you'll figure it's time to do a little bit clean up before going to bed. I feel like it's important to note, however, that this is by no means a bad EP. It's a good start, and if the band learns to focus their efforts into finding that one, Supporting The Dogs-sound, then good things will likely come out of it. For now, I'll recommend it cautiously for Danes only, others should wait for future releases.

Download: The First Dog In Space
For the fans of: Puto Diablo, Pinboys, Rock Hard Power Spray, Mike, The National Shut Up (new material)
Listen: Myspace

Release date 12.10.2010
Flyswatter Music

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