Yesterday I wrote an article about Dog Soldier‘s upcoming unreleased album, and now, it’s time to go back a couple of years earlier and dive deep into their debut full-length. Name Your Poison unquestionably differs from the unreleased material a lot. While Shoot To Kill gathers genres like proto-grunge, grunge, punk rock, and psychedelic rock, their debut somehow leans more towards punk rock and metal. There’s no wonder about it, mainly because these experimentations with genres were quite popular in the late eighties. I have to admit Name Your Poison sounds like a debut album that many bands would wish they recorded back then. It possesses many qualities of the releases that most bands unleash at the peak of their careers. Therefore, I can only state Dog Soldier knew what they were doing.
Of course, Dog Soldier aimed for pure hard rock sound, but there’s unquestionably more than meets the eye. Besides the sheer dominance of hard rock, you may stumble upon the beforementioned interferences of heavy metal and punk rock. Grunge was still a new thing at that time, but you can hear some similarities with many proto-grunge, grunge, and alternative rock bands that rose to prominence a couple of years later. After listening to the entire album several times, I cannot escape the feeling Dog Soldier maybe inspired all those bands who earned big cash by playing the same style of music during the nineties. It’s an album that demands repetitious listening to grasp everything these creative musicians implemented in their tunes. The fun fact is that Name Your Poison gets even better with each new spinning.
The eighties were the times when you wouldn’t pass as a band if your album didn’t sound good, so this material resonates with some proper bangers. Each composition is a separate story, they all resonate with a different vibe, but altogether these songs represent a superb recording without any bad moments. Each guitar shred, solo, bassline, beat, and shout were cleverly assembled into this powerful debut. Dog Soldier was a great band from the beginning, and Name Your Poison is more than solid proof of my statement. If you’re a fan of retro-sounding, flawlessly performed hard rock music, then this album will be right up your alley. Check it out even if you’re not into this genre because you may like it. Name Your Poison is available on streaming services and CD, but there are rumors that SMTM Records will reissue it on vinyl alongside an unreleased LP. Head over to SMTM Records for more information about it.