Canoe (Ca), July 12, 1996

Dogstar's grunge unremarkable

by John Sakamoto

Were it not for the presence of the movie-star bassist, this EP/55-minute multi-media disc would likely not receive the scrutiny it is no doubt destined to receive.

On the other hand, without Reeves' presence, it probably would never have been released at all, at least not on a major label.

As it is, you could drop any of the four songs here onto a tape with Bush, Silverchair, Seven Mary Three, or virtually any of the bubblegrunge bands that have sprung up since Pearl Jam's debut album wormed its way into the consciousness of an entire generation.

But while the by-now familiar alt-rock sound -- courtesy of Rick Parasher who, not coincidentally, produced that first Pearl Jam album -- hits all the usual sonic signposts, the lyrics are atypically romantic for the genre.

"This is where you laid your head/Next to me, in this bed/This is where we talked for hours/And then you stood and you were gone ..." goes the opening stanza of Return. Even the most self-consciously grungey number here, Honesty Anyway, includes this distinctly non-grungey couplet: "When the first sunlight started to appear/I would turn to see if you were here."

Ultimately, however, that's about the only remarkable aspect of Dogstar's debut. The multi-media component -- consisting largely of video of Reeves, frontman Bret Domrose, and drummer Rob Mailhouse clowning around off-stage -- is cute but undistinguished. Which, come to think of it, pretty much sums up the musical contents, too.

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yeah, well (2009-09-15 15:58:18)
 ... it's exactly this mix of grunge sound and apparently romantic lyrics that I like.
and this was just the debut 4 songs album.
Our Little Visionary is better ;)
Anakin McFly
(2009-09-15 16:01:52)

Overall I think I like Happy Ending best; most of my favourite songs are in there, with the notable exceptions of Enchanted and 32 Stories.
;) (2009-09-15 20:43:04)
 ... different opinions again... even the garage grunge music gets us polarized ! :D

I think "Visionary" is a bit angrier, and that's what appeals to me now.

(2009-09-17 07:07:16)
 I really liked Our Little Visionary. Happy Ending was good too.

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