|The Dogs D'amour - 'A Graveyard Of Empty Bottles MMXII' (King Outlaw Records)|
|Written by Dom Daley|
|Monday, 07 May 2012 04:00|
I think it's love again! Hoist the flags because one of the best records ever released has gone in for a service and Mr T has souped up a near perfect 10" record into a hot rod ride of extended tracks that, once you lift the hood and check out the reworking of these tracks, any sceptics will be able to sit back, relax and sigh with relief as to how they've been lovingly primed and reworked.
Clearly benefiting from time away Tyla has stripped the tracks that originally appeared and some of the others that went missing at the time and lovingly recreated them and, in my humble opinion, in many cases revved them into something better than the originals sounded.
A hellish thirteen is what makes up the 2012 version and songs like 'Gone Are All The Angels' sound fresh and fantastic. Just dipping in and taking one example, how about the beast that was 'Comfort Of The Devil' with its new pace and devilishly good riff; it's a veritable high point of this record and what was one of the weaker ones on the original in my opinion is now a glorious rumbling riff-driven stomp that justifies this release all by its self. I was trying to think of where that riff comes from and it has more than a hint of 'Taxi Driver' from the equally wonderful Hanoi Rocks: it's a simple case of handing the baton down and using what's gone before as a template and redesigning it into something better. Simply stunning was the description that sprang to mind the first time I heard this new improved version, in fact it's much more fun (this time round) in the comfort of the devil. Take the makeover and arrangement of 'Saviour' which is sublime and elevates an already great song, especially with the piano inclusion - it's a real work of beauty.
The eagle eyed amongst you will notice there are five songs here that were never on the original 1989 ten inch from China Records but were all written and demoed around the same time as the originals, so why not have an extended release? However, if there is one minor blip on the landscape then it would be the new version of 'English Outlaw' - whilst I tried not to make comparisons I think I prefer the original for its desperate, desolate lament to its new happier-go-lucky pace, but that's possibly unfair of me and nip picking but hey, it's not like this replaces the originals nor does it take anything away either. The inclusion of lost classics like 'Gone Are All The Angels', 'Died 'fore She Got Young' and the smokey bar-room blues of 'Stealin' From The Devil' is fantastic and makes this a must own disc.
Once again the package is of the usual exquisite standard you'd expect from Tyla, with the added bonus of the lyrics and some mighty fine black and white drawings to boot, unlike the technicolour of the original 10" although, in the main, I'd say these recordings all sound far more upbeat and fresh if that's possible.....the only thing missing, it has to be said, is some of the slide work that graced these tunes, but it's been replaced with some wonderful piano noodlings all over this new version as well as some of the arrangements which have breathed new life into many of the songs and there isn't one that is anywhere near a disappointment.
Old fans will love the new arrangements and new fans will have yet more proof that this old Dog has more than a bag full of tricks and what were once a bunch of excellent songs have stood the test of time and be reworked into something of a masterpiece.