DOGBANE, Residual Alcatraz (2011, Heaven and Hell)
Sometimes a skull can’t win. They don’t really have a say in the modeling jobs they get, at least, not at this level, and I’m pretty sure this guy hated every minute he had to pose for this winner of a portrait. He’s likely too macho to appreciate the Apocynum that surround him (they look like lilacs but are toxic, which I guess is why these dudes thought this was a great band name), but it was the tattooing of that lame band name on his forehead, in some sort of last-minute non-logo design, that really got him upset. Then he looked down at the album title and got so hot under the collar he lost his shit (ie. spontaneous combustion): “Residual Alcatraz? What the flying fuck is that supposed to mean???” He was given no answer, was paid his $20, and got outta there, hoping for a gig with Black Label Society next time around.
Dogbane’s music isn’t much better than their chintzy album cover art, lame band name and super-dumb album title. They sound like Demolition-era Judas Priest meets any given NWOBHM band’s mediocre “comeback” album (there are lots — take your pick)…but clunkier (look no further than the mess of second song, “Born to Die”). I love traditional heavy metal when it’s done right, which usually means the old stuff, before it got old enough to recycle. And it’s this sort of recycling that bands like Dogbane specialize in. I know: good songs are good songs, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be original if you’ve got ’em. Unfortunately Dogbane doesn’t got ’em.
— Friar Wagner