Charlottesville, VA based indie label SMTM Records has announced the release of “Obsession”, a new single from Ann Arbor’s late, but critically-acclaimed rock act Dog Soldier. The release will kick off a series of ten never-before-heard songs from Dog Soldier’s 1990 “lost” album “Shoot To Kill”.
The “Shoot To Kill” recordings were intended to be Dog Soldier’s follow-up to 1988’s “Name Your Poison”, on Atlanta-based Third Coast Records. “Name Your Poison” was re-released in October of 2020 through a collaboration between Third Coast Records founders Gary Dimitrie and Mark LaTessa, and music producer and original Dog Soldier guitarist Matt Singleton, now President of SMTM Records.
The production of the un-released music was time-consuming. “It took me a while for me to find out where I wanted to be with this project” says Singleton. “The original tracks were not quite finished, and there were some issues with the recording, especially the guitar tracks. I wanted to honor the snapshot in time that we had created, but also felt that there was more we could do with the material. I started playing around with creating new guitar tracks for everything, but realized that the youthful energy of the original tracks was missing. I did end up putting in some little finishing touches and textures using some strings, keyboards, and new backing vocals. I almost wanted to re-imagine the record as if we had a huge budget, and could do anything we wanted with the material originally! In the end I think we struck a good balance between keeping the rawness of the original tracks, and adding some more sophisticated elements that really elevated the overall quality and cohesiveness of the record.”
“Obsession” is a perfect track to kick off the series of new singles. With a melodic guitar intro that builds tension into a raucous tale of a maybe-slightly-more-than-dangerous love affair, this track demonstrates Dog Soldiers ability to fuse eighties hard rock with a made-in-Detroit style punk-goth aesthetic. “Eyes of light and eyes of flame, Translucent eyes of fire, Eyes that tear into my soul, Burning with desire” drones vocalist Cristina Samonte, before heading into the chorus “He’s my obsession, I can’t forget him, He’s my obsession, I would die for him”. The track is an able segue from “Name Your Poison” and it’s dark gothic imagery into the strong personal narrative that forms the backbone of “Shoot To Kill”.
“Obsession” will be the first of the ten songs to hit streaming platforms, and digital and terrestrial radio. “We had a difficult time deciding how to release this album,” says former Third Coast Records founder Gary Dimitrie. “We originally thought we would do it old school, and release it all at once, but after some conversation, decided to go with the modern format of a waterfall release.Seeing as the band is no longer performing live, and there was a thirty year gap, there just wasn’t a whole lot of content available. We wanted to maximize our exposure, and get the best results we could from the streaming algorithms.”
“We thought it would work out best this way.” Singleton adds. “We do have a limited amount of other content to utilize… some early video footage, a bunch of old show posters and band images and whatnot, but we are having to be pretty creative about our marketing”.
Once all ten singles are out, there may be plans for some physical product. “We have a very limited number of new-old-stock vinyl copies of “Name Your Poison” that we are going to make available” says Dimitrie. “If things go well, and there is demand, we will likely press up some vinyl for “Shoot To Kill” as well, pending current supply chain issues.”
“Obsession” will be available on all major streaming platforms on March 4, 2022 with the following songs from “Shoot To Kill” released every four weeks after.