ALBUM REVIEW: Sea Dogs - Mt. Scio
By: James Titford
Sea Dogs - Mt. Scio / Release Date: May 5, 2018
Sea Dogs’ second full-length album Mt. Scio, released May 5th, 2018, is an album guaranteed to satisfy anyone craving some straightforward hard rock. With a heavy focus on grooves and memorable riffs, Sea Dogs have made an album that’s as hard and heavy, as it is fun and catchy.
Going into this album with my limited Sea Dogs experience, I can say I mostly got what I expected. Having heard a few tracks off their first album Dory of Souls, released in 2017, I was expecting more of the tight, hard rock sound with heavy influence from 90’s hard rock. On my first listen, I was prepared for more psychedelic rock due to the album artwork which features giant mushrooms, a wide-eyed frog, and trippy colour scheme, but on further listening, I’m glad the psych rock influence isn’t a main focus. Instead of a huge sound shift that could have potentially alienated previous fans they built on the best elements of their previous work while also not shying away from broadening their sound with hints of other styles like the previously mentioned psych rock on tracks like “Buddy, You’re Getting A Ticket”, and the funk rock guitar work of “On the Wall”. These really helped to liven the album up and left me interested to see if these will be explored further in any future releases from the group.
When it comes down to the core songwriting and performing there is one thing that is undeniable; these guys are damn good at making a groove with a great riff that lasts as long as they need it to. They never stay on one riff for too long and risk it becoming stale. Take for example the opening track, “Storm Maker”. The song begins with a two-part intro, the first part sounding like the band are building up a wall, just to tear it down in the second part with most of the band jamming, backing a deadly guitar solo before the vocals come in for the first verse. Instead of just going straight for the cool second riff and solo they managed to grab the attention of the listener beforehand, which makes what follows have more impact. This is something I find a lot of hard rock bands either forget and don’t bother to do, so it was refreshing to not only hear them do it on this track but throughout the album as well. This shows that the band knows that you need more than just a good riff to make a good song.
In all Mt. Scio is a solid hard rock album that I think would appeal to anyone looking to get their fix of Axl Rose-like vocals and heavy riffs that’ll be stuck in your head for days. With a great release and a promising future, Sea Dogs have proven that their bark is just as good as their bite.