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September 19, 2017


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Dogmatics
1981-86 (Vagrant Records)

By: Gary "Pig" Gold

"The Dogmatics were no different than any other talentless, self-deprecating, beer-swilling, girl-chasing lunk-heads with guitars," the liner notes herein begin, and even the briefest acquaintance with any of the twenty songs on this wonderful retrospective more than proves that. But, you see, every single town must've - should've - had its very own Dogmatics, if only to preserve the anybody-can-play-this-crap ethos that's grounded r'n'r for half a century now.

Unfortunately, whereas Minneapolis' Replacements, for one, managed to ride the slide all the way into Spin's Alternate Record Guide, the Dogs had barely just begun to make it off Thayer Street in Boston's South End when a motorcycle blow-out claimed the life of bassist Paul O'Halloran. A decade later, should we even be musing over where these neighborhood heroes would've headed, "if only!"? Or should we simply savor instead this hour's-worth of rockabilly- singed p-u-n-k, with all the verve, vinegar, and, yes, spit such a genre entails? The latter, I'd say, making sure however to keep one ear cocked as the next unsung sages rev up their guitars next door.

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