DEFIANCE OF GOD- Album sampler

Album sampler, my arse. This Cardiff-based collective have sent in a bleeding half-finished demo and expect me to put effort into writing about it. And I can’t find out anything about them either. Oh, hang on. Apparently the reason that they prefer an air of mystery is to retain integrity. My first question, then, is: what do they have to be ashamed of? They also believe that their anonymity ensures an impartial judgement of their music. Apparently, “if you don't know who they are – you probably won't have any preconceptions for, or against them, and, consequently, their music”. From reading just that one sentence from their biog, I already have more preconceptions about both them and their music then I might have otherwise had. Whoops.

Luckily- or perhaps not so- I have a lot of time on my hands at the moment so I remain as open-minded as possible. That and the fact that I am misled at first, despite the lazily scrawled home-made CD before me. Still, DIY is not a problem. Opening track ‘When we become mountains’ is actually very pretty, a trippy instrumental of well-played fluttering acoustic guitar and searing electric in a tribute to the likes of Pink Floyd. This is followed by two more instrumentals- ‘Not yr average girl’ and the similarly pitched ‘Be careful what you wish for’. ‘Not much wrong with that’, I hear you mutter, only that both sound like indie-pop songs that just haven’t had any vocals recorded yet. So I made up my own. “Half-arsed band, half arsed band, why is it my fate to review half-arsed bandsssss?” The reason being that what comes next turns out to be a version of the first track, just with lyrics this time and a shorter title. Will the ‘album’ really feature two versions of the same track? Doubtful. Let’s just say, I preferred the version with no singing anyway- the faceless male sounded like Bon Jovi in places and the lyrics about grass dying then growing again did not inspire me to do much, apart from prompt the thought that I would prefer to watch grass grow than listen to Defiance of God. No less than when I get to ‘Meat- full version’, which, unfortunately, sounds like a Welsh Vichy Government. There are no Casios but samples of female wailing and a bloke blathering some pretty random stuff over the top. “No mosque tannoy/ Just a stuttering soliloquy/ A bullet-proof syphony”, he beseech thee- no, I don’t know what it means. But at least I am grateful that they have at least one complete song.

It’s not all bad though and a ‘collaboration’ with a female vocalist on a few tracks bring sweet relief, featuring a Kate Nash-style vocal on the cleverly cheeky ‘Lives of Others’, more scathing on indie and punk offerings ‘Twilight’ and ‘Slap my face’, the latter showing a firm attitude and more interesting approach to performance than its predecessors. It’s just a shame that these tracks, though standing out from the rest, are slightly confusing in contrast to the others, the variety in song-writing not adding to a sound D.O.G naively claim to be reminiscent of Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Manic Street Preachers and the like, but merely serving to baffle the listener.

It is with this fact in mind that I can honestly say that I have no idea who D.O.G will appeal to. Someone once said that Defiance of God’s law will eventually bring havoc to society. Do Defiance of God (the band) plan to do the same? I’d not give up the day jobs if I were them, judging by these efforts. Still, if they finish a song, I might be proved wrong. No hate mail- remember that any publicity is good publicity and D.O.G should be grateful to get any.