Master & Dog. What a name. The name alone fills you with confidence doesn’t it? They’ve recently changed their name, used to be called John, Shelly and the Creatures, which face it is equally brilliant. Still, you can have the most fantastic name in the world and still sound crap. So are Master & Dog a crushing disappointment after a humdinger of a name? Are they heck.
A Belfast four-piece, with a debut album ‘Dinosaur’ under their belt from 2010, their second self-titled long-player (or ‘eponymous sophomore outing’ if you prefer music journalist speak) slunk out last week and judging from their soundcloud not many folk have filled their ears so full they could bathe in the crisply dark pop mongering. You can listen to the whole glorious thing and few have? People, what are you doing with your time? This lot need 45 minutes and 15 seconds of your time please.
Our favourites, along with the rousing ‘Canada’ (above) include… well, most of the album to be honest, but the majestic ‘Devil Knows How’ stands out as does the gentle breathing in and out of ‘Weathered’. The rattling ‘Bad Moon’, and blimey, if ‘All Hell Broke Loose’ was a person it’d mop your brow with a hankie. Seems to end a bit abruptly though. Not sure if that’s art or a mistake.
There’s a healthy dash of Damien Rice about it all, there’s some Kevin Thiesta in there too, bit of Buffalo Tom. Simon and Garfunkel? It’s lovely stuff. The kind of thing that makes you hold your breath in case it breaks before your eyes.